Once again Bad Ass has managed to capture my attention. This is perhaps the strangest origin story I’ve read in quite some time. The think about Jack aka Dead End, is that we know about him… but we don’t know him. The series has run this back and forth narrative of the present and Jack’s past. In previous issues we see him as the most unfortunate kid on the planet. Peter Parker doesn’t have shit on Jack. But event shaped his future? This issue opens with Prom, because its high school. We open with Jack spray painting a statement about goats on Travis, the star football player’s car. The results are Jack being run down by Jack’s car in a dead end alley way; more than likely this is where Jack took the name from. Travis ends up wrecking his car and nearly killing Jack who is now in the hospital with tons of broken bones and such. His friend that he made in the last issue comes to visit him and brings Bob with him. Here’s when Jack’s luck shifts though and we see a very different Jack for the rest of the issue. The question is how did Jack become Dead End when his life and luck changed so drastically?
Herik Hanna continues writing dialogue that is so corny I have to laugh. It’s intentional of course because no one in their right mind would have a character walk up to women and say, “dry yet?” but only after one of them proclaimed that they’re panties were still wet from seeing his Porsche. I mean I laughed, but it’s not like that dialogue is there to do anything other than that and that’s fine. The best way to view what Hanna is doing with the story is that it’s a dark comedy take on superheroes. If more people knew that I have a feeling they would have looked at the first issue differently.
The art is definitely a strong element of the series success. As enjoyable as the story is, the artwork does stand on its own in terms of quality and skill. Bruno Bessadi is the reason the comedy works because without his facial expressions added to the characters it would fall flat. Bessadi makes the bouncing back and forth between past and present seamless which keeps it from being confusing and at the same time he gives both eras a distinct look.
Another of the creators definitely worth mentioning is Geatan Georges on coloring. The art may be incredible, but without Georges coloring it wouldn’t be as powerful. Georges does a wonderful job of making the issue vibrant as the colors pop from the page. It’s seriously one of the best colored and subsequently, best looking books currently published.
By now Bad Ass has found its reader base and while there are no more talking Dragons, the series is still plenty nuts. But it’s a good kind of nuts. The issue ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but it’s more in the dialogue than the actions or a cheap reveal. Instead we’ve been reading an issue about a character that’s gotten their life together all along wondering how they became a criminal, only to be given a huge clue at the end. If you bailed on this series you may want to give it another shot as the creative team has found a unique and interesting way to present an origin story.
Writer: Herik Hanna Artist: Bruno Bessadi Colorist: Gaetan Georges Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/19/14