Monday, November 3, 2014

Review - Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets


"Half of his arrests are dead bodies."

Among all the inevitable uprisings slated to subvert humanity, animals doing it is pretty low on the list. If (and when?) they do rise up and enslave humanity, it's hoped that they'll manage some form of civility in society with crimes punished and enforced. In that case, you'll need a character like Bulletproof Chicken, whose latest exploits are on display in Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets from King Bone Press.

Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets is comprised of five short stories. "Bulletproof Chicken 2" is written by Mat Nixon and Jon Westhoff, illustrated by Nixon, colored by Bobgar Ornelas, Timothy O'Briant and Sean Fagan and lettered by Westhoff, "Before Bulletproof" is written and lettered by Jon Westhoff and illustrated by Bobgar Ornelas, "BPC: XXX" is written and lettered by Westhoff and illustrated by John M. Lennon, "Bulletproof Chicken in Space" is written and lettered by Westhoff and illustrated by Ray Wegner and "Previously, in History" is written, illustrated and lettered by Ornelas.

"Before Bulletproof 2" is essentially Robocop with a chicken, fighting corruption within his organization. "Before Bulletproof" is a throwback of sorts to his life before fighting crime, when he was a tough as nails ring fighter. "Chicken XXX" is a pretty short look at why prostitution isn't exactly the best profession in the world. "Bulletproof Chicken in Space" takes a look at a galactic civilization's nearness to downfall. Finally, "Previously, in History" is a look way, way back to what is presumably Bulletproof Chicken's ancestors exhibiting the same grittiness the modern day version exudes.

If there's a common thread across all stories, it's Bulletproof Chicken. The character is equal parts Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson and Rambo Sylvester Stallone, clearly evoking that era of action-adventure films. Those characteristics are pervasive throughout each of the stories, even if they transcend time (and space) and present the character in many various lights. The dialogue in each taps into that machismo very bluntly, presenting the reader with stories that are anything but friendly. "BPC: XXX" probably sums up the character most succinctly, as he inhabits a world rife with crime, yet he manages to maintain something that resembles a legal precedent.

Much of the artwork in Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets relies on a certain crudeness. The relatively simple illustrations maintain the grittiness of the character and his world, but there does seem to be something an incomplete feeling to the look. Many of the characters seem to have been illustrated rather quickly and come across as more preliminary sketches than anything else. Additionally, there's little in the way of background detail, with characters essentially acting amidst rather empty backdrops. The pulpy finish of the work lends itself well to the hard-boiled aspect of the character and work.

Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets is an anthology that dabbles more in ridiculousness than anything else. Bulletproof Chicken is an amalgamation of multiple 80s action-adventure films where the main character is so macho that crying is punishable by death. All of the stories maintain Bulletproof Chicken's persona despite the varied situations he's thrown in the middle of. From an art standpoint, the work is largely simple and lacking much in the way of detail, yet still maintaining some consistency across stories. Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets reads pretty quickly and features more stories from a character who upholds the law no matter the cost to himself or those around him.

Bulletproof Chicken: Chicken Nuggets is available now.

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