After our group review for the first issue one thing became clear… this series is apparently written only for me. The second issue doesn’t see the introduction of more talking Dragons or anything that would instantly send it into the realm of WTF, but it doesn’t answer any questions either. In fact I was left with more questions about our villain known as Dead End. The issue begins in 1977 again as Jack (our future Dead End) is shooting baskets from the free throw line with the school’s Gym teacher. The coach is apparently putting in extra time to help Jack, but after missing 200 shots in a row he tells Jack that he’s enough reason for him to commit suicide. Jack tells the coach to get a rope, a gun and other objects commonly associate with suicide and that he’ll help him make it look like an accident. In the next issue we find Jack in the principal’s office where he cops a similar attitude there and is suspended from school. Jack may be covered in zits (which are grosser thanks to the slap from the Nurse) and clumsy, but damn he’s got an evil wit to him.
Now something that wasn’t clear in the first issue was Amadeus Kitty’s role in everything. Jack or Dead End as he’s known here, mentioned some racy pics with a guy named Black Snake which sounds villainous. Well it turns out they’re the heroes of this world though I suspect that Amadeus is more Catwoman-esque than anything. The two of them square off and Dead End comes out on top leaving only the swat team outside to deal with.
Again, I loved this issue. I like the mystery behind Dead End and how he went from being a zit farm that couldn’t make one shot out of two-hundred, to a man who can bounce a lite cigarette off of a cop car until it hits the same asshole from the first issue in his remaining good eye. I laughed my ass off.
There’s something fun and entertaining about Herik Hanna’s script. It’s not that Hanna isn’t taking the world seriously; it’s that he’s not taking the superhero side of it seriously. That’s why Dead End can flick cigs all over and Amadeus Kitty can shoot ridiculous soundwaves and it’s entertaining, but then when we learn about Jack it’s dead serious. Just because Jack starts talking back to people doesn’t mean the reader runs out of sympathy for him, it just means that there is only so much a person can take before they snap. Ultimately Bad Ass might end up as a unique character study of a super villain, but we’ll all have to wait and see.
Bruno Bessadi’s artwork is amazing. It’s gorgeous to look at and the quality doesn’t dip from the first issue at all. What’s impressive is that in the 1977 timeline, Bessadi keeps Jack looking realistic and doesn’t forget the slap from the Nurse. So often in comics the artists is required to reset the look of a character so that the readers aren’t confused, but Bessadi manages to keep the continuum and show Jack’s face even worse know. Zit farm Jack is awesome and something that’s rarely been done in comics, but especially not in a serious super hero book. That aside Bessadi keeps the action easy to follow and fast. The battle with Amadeus is never confusing and again entertaining.
Bessadi’s art is complimented by the wonderful coloring of Gaetan Georges. The coloring is what makes the artwork stand out the most. In the present time line the color is vibrant and gives the series a look that rivals any superhero title out there; while the 1977 timeline has a softer tone that in a way resembles the era and brings it to life. Georges does a wonderful job at making Bessadi’s artwork pop especially on the half page image of Amadeus Kitty pulling out her violin. That scene had “poster” written all over it.
I understand why this book isn’t for everyone, but those same reasons are why I like it and continue to like it even more. As I said in my chunk of the group review, I don’t read the quote-unquote “funny” superhero titles that the “big two” have to offer so maybe I’m not as burnt out on this genre as others or maybe my tastes just tend to be weird and dark… I’m okay either way and will be back for the next issue of Bad Ass for sure.
Writer: Herik Hanna Artist: Bruno Bessadi Colorist: Geatan Georges Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/19/14