Stray Bullets: Killers #2 – Review

Stray Bullets, David Lapham’s on-again off-again decades long series is back, but with a twist. For readers looking to enter Lapham’s complicated fray of characters in an easy but satisfying way, Stray Bullets: Killers is just the place to start.

Here’s the official word from Image:

When her niece, missing for almost a year, shows up on her doorstep with a horrifying secret, Carol Hogarth will find out that people can be poison…especially if that person is named Virginia Applejack. Find out what best friends, worst enemies, an artificial leg, and a bottle of rum all have to do with “THE KILLER WHO AWOKE BEFORE DAWN.”

When Stray Bullets first hit the scene back in 1995 it captured the imagination of countless geeks — straybulletskillers_2Lapham’s character-driven opus was infused with a Pulp Fiction sensibility, and a fearless tendency to be both violent and heartfelt. The problem was, it was really hard to follow. With inconsistent publishing schedules and storylines that needed to be read in a spree to fully appreciate, it was only the die hard fans who stayed invested. It’s for this reason that Stray Bullets: Killers #2 feels like such a promising development. Yes, Spanish Scott is back and while this micro-series might reprise other fan favorites the real treat here is that you don’t need to know anything about Stray Bullets to appreciate, well…Stray Bullets. Lapham’s at his best as a storyteller, and that’s what he seems to be reaching for here — not continuity. That said, Stray Bullets: Killers #1, which introduced the character of Eli (a young kid who sneaks into a strip club frequented by his dad) felt a little too jam-packed; there was almost too much action and Lapham didn’t offer any subtle notes. Thankfully, Stray Bullets: Killers #2 offers a tale that’s classic Lapham — Eli is a teenager now, still processing the events of issue #1, and is quickly falling for Virginia Applejack, who, as fans know, has no problem standing at the intersection of love and violence.

The art, as always, is provided by Lapham and is just as good as the storytelling. Stray Bullets: Killers #2 provides a wonderful example of why reading books where the artist is also the writer can be such a treat — the script and art sync perfectly, and I was quickly swept away into Lapham’s vision, once again.

Go grab Stray Bullets: Killers #2 today. It’s by far the best book I’ve read this month.


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