Stray Bullets, David Lapham’s on-again off-again decades long series is back. For readers looking to enter Lapham’s complicated fray of characters in an easy but satisfying way, Stray Bullets: Killers has offered a wonderful place to start. And issue #4 delivers the best emotional punch so far.
Here’s the official word from Image:
Eli and Virginia get closer, and despite his best efforts, his mother finds out. He’s driven to the edge by her disapproval.
Writer David Lapham has a tremendous knack for cover a lot of ground in one short issue. And while some of his previous installments of Stray Bullets: Killers have felt a little too jam-packed, issue #4 is nearly flawless in it’s timing and range. After a slight reprieve in issue #3 where Lapham gave us a glimpse into the mildly insane (but darkly humorous) life of Virginia Applejack, he rushes back into the young and angsty love affair that blossomed between Virginia and Eli back in issue #2. Yes, these two kids are in love — but the side-effects of this love are radically different for each character. Eli is a kid so weighed down by family obligations that love feels like liberation; Virginia, on the other hand, is a kid so untethered that the prospect of love scares the shit out of her. And while this might seem like the generic set-up to every teenage love story you’ve ever read, don’t fret. Because Lapham is, well, Lapham, this classic set-up is told a way that’s both innovative and wonderfully insane. So yes, there’s guns and crazy moms — but there’s also real heartfelt energy here, too.
Lapham’s art, as always, is just as good as his written 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 there is never the danger of overwriting. Lapham’s panels speak just as loudly as his words.
Go grab Stray Bullets: Killers #4 today. It’s a gem.