Friday, April 4, 2014

Review - BubbleGun #1-5

"You think you've found us out? You have no idea what we're capable of!"

Teams of criminals always look for the one big score that will let them retire. Sometimes though, that score can lead to a pretty big surprise that gets the team in deeper than they previous thought. BubbleGun #5 from Aspen Comics finishes just a tale and all five issues are available for reader enjoyment. The issues are written by Mark Roslan, illustrated by Mike Bowden, colored by Erick Arciniega and lettered by Josh Reed.

Molli is a young superhero with a penchant for being brash and reckless. That contrasts her greatly with her sister Devyn, who just so happens to be a phenomenal, all-around person who is keen on pulling off complicated thefts for great prices. Their latest caper leaves them with a pretty hot package in Asher, a cyborg/android with a lot more to him than what first appears. Vitadrone is a rival of sorts who is also after Asher, for reasons that are a little less wholesome than the reasons of Molli and the others. She'll need that morality as well, considering her sister Devyn needs a little help in addition to keeping Asher out of the wrong hands.

Roslan does his best imitation of Dirty Pair, using BubbleGun as an homage to the to manga-style cyberpunk that pop up every now and then. The story itself is fairly straightforward, as the heroes are seeking to score a big payday with a mysterious package, but end up biting of more than they can chew. The story is paced pretty evenly for the first four issues; however, the fifth issue feels a little rushed towards the end, as if they creative team realized that things needed to be wrapped up. It doesn't hurt the series and still allows the story to be told with a pretty even pace. The dialogue is pretty solid throughout, save for a few lines that feel a little forced at times.

Bowden's illustrations effectively evoke the look that Roslan is going for. The characters are illustrated with an emphasis on character anatomy; the males are for the most part larger than life and muscular while the females are more curvaceous. There are a ton of action=sequences throughout as well, something that Bowden handles pretty deftly and gives the reader a good chance to keep up with everything. There's some ambitious panel layouts as well that really move things along and don't always frame the action completely; for instance, there are some panels where the characters seem to transcend the panel borders.

The five-issue run of BubbleGun was pretty entertaining and did successfully pay homage to anime and manga of yore. The tone of the book is pretty lighthearted and doesn't require the reader to overthink things and the art is equally as light, ensuring that the reader doesn't get ovewhelmed. The book feels like an Aspen Comics title and leaves open the possibility for another series to follow; the trick for the creative team will be whether or not it can come up with a new tale to put the team into. Still though, BubbleGun #1-5 is a pretty enjoyable read that successfully fits within the Aspen Comics universe and offers reader a good story with pretty vibrant art.

Bubblegun #5 is available in stores now.


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