If Stray Bullets were a cocktail, then Sunshine & Roses proves once again that the two ingredients David Lapham mixes best are love and violence. And with issue #2, Lapham is determined to make his mixture extra strong.
The official description from from Image:
The day Rose saw Beth and Orson together something broke inside her, and now this air-headed, happy-go-lucky, highly promiscuous, fake-blonde is out for blood—and she doesn’t care whose or how much is spilt. Can this buxom bombshell’s heart be “fixed” before she blows up Baltimore and ruins Orson and Beth’s own revenge plans, or will the next bouquet of flowers she gets be the ones on her grave?
Yes, David Lapham is back, with a series of mini-arcs that are no doubt acting as chapters to a larger book he’s got in the works. And what does Sunshine and Roses offer that’s different? Well, those fans who’ve been reading this decades long mega-run since the beginning will notice that S&R fits into Lapham’s familiar pattern of storytelling right away: an intricate love story up front, with a complicated crime story in the background. The love story here is actually a pseudo love triangle, as Orson,the clueless male protagonists (another Lapham motif) goes on the hunt to see who might have given him crabs the night before — and convinced him to rob a liquor store. While Orson originally suspects it was Beth (who he’s crushed out on), he realizes it was actually Rose (who we could probably do without). Lingering in the background, of course, is Spanish Steve and a new killer-for-hire Kretchmeyer and it’s at this point I sorta wished that Lapham would have more evenly balanced these two aspects of the story. For sure, the love story is entertaining but the crime syndicate bubbling around the edges feels distinctly undercooked — at least for now.
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.
It’s wonderful to have Stray Bullets back. Go grab this thing today.