David Lapham continues his narrative romp through the series her created nearly twenty years ago with issue #5 of Stray Bullets: The Killers. And this time he has his sights focused on an old fan favorite: Amy Racecar.
Here’s the official word from Image:
The first kill is always the worst-the most traumatic, the most gut-wrenching. It’s the one that sticks with you. Except if you’re Amy Racecar. The most dangerous woman in the world doesn’t even remember her first kill. The next 112 kills that came after were buckets of fun, but Amy’s always felt that void of not remembering number one… All that’s about to change, that sickening “first kill” horror is about to come with kill number 114. After she’s been reborn into a new life of hope and love. After she’s found her one true love. After she’s changed her ways, renounced violence and put down her gun…lost it…then found it…then picked it up again..
For those of us who fell in love with Lapham’s work back in the ’90s this latest reboot has felt divine. After only four issues he delivered one beautifully self-contained story and with issue #5 he quickly switches gears to reprise Amy Racecar, the sassy sociopath who’s appetite for crime and murder made her a fan favorite from the beginning. One of the most endearing aspects of Amy is that (for some reason) she acts as a catalyst for Lapham’s most surreal and magical plots; whenever Amy is around Lapham throws reality out the window and his series, which is generally knows for gritty realism, gets, well, wonky. It’s magical realism at its best, and issue #5 is no exception. In this latest tale Amy has fallen in love with a paraplegic mama’s boy and finds herself transformed by the experience. Her new vow: she is done killing. And while Amy certainly wants to stay true to her word, she understands that some people just need to be killed despite anybody’s vows (read: Amy’s mother and Jack Rum). Her solution is quite simple: train the new boyfriend, and let him do the killing for her.
Once again, and as expected, Lapham delivers his own art. His approach is highly stylized and meticulously executed — having written the script, too, Lapham is quite comfortable paring down the verbiage so that the pictures can do the talking, meaning that art and words offer a great tag team to the story.
I’m so glad Stray Bullets is operating back in the universe again. May it go on forever!