The Barefoot Detective: ‘BANG! #2’ Reviewed
by Josh Davison
Mild Spoilers Ahead
Meet John Shaw, a divorced detective just trying to live his life but always seeming to find his way into trouble. He’s on a train to Los Angeles and a few of the other passengers recognize him from a standoff with Goldmaze on a cruise ship years prior. Unfortunately, Goldmaze is back and they attack Shaw on this train. Thankfully, John Shaw has a trio of inhalants that grant him extraordinary abilities: one increases speed, one increases intellect, and the other increases agility. With them in tow, he will hopefully be able to stop Goldmaze before they set off their dirty bomb in LA.
BANG! #2 introduces the reader to John Shaw, another adventurer who has had Phillip Verve books written about him. Whereas Thomas Cord was a fairly straightforward James Bond stand-in, Shaw represents the American action movie protagonist. He lands somewhere between Jason Bourne and John McClain and looks remarkably like Bruce Willis.
Shaw is aware that books are written about him, unlike Cord. However, Shaw just assumes someone is cataloging and capitalizing on his adventures. That said, BANG! #2 still gets meta before the issue is done and we do get to see Thomas Cord again.
There is a lot more action in this issue with us being shown two encounters between Shaw and Goldmaze. The action scenes are pretty damn good too. There is also a lot more death in this issue, with Shaw seeming to be consistently unable to save everyone in the vicinity.
Shaw is a lot more likable and down-to-earth than Thomas Cord (well, the first Thomas Cord we meet). There is some fun compare-and-contrast to be done between American heroes of novels and films versus British.
Wilfredo Torres continues to impress with his sleek and somewhat cartoonish art style. The Goldmaze attire looks consistently garish and cool and John Shaw really does look strikingly like Bruce Willis. The action scenes are well-done and fluid. Color artist Nayoung Kim keeps things vibrant and popping throughout the book.
BANG! #2 is another fast-moving and fun action comic that plays with the tropes of American action movies while constructing a sure-to-be-wild meta-narrative about these action heroes. Needless to say, this one gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
BANG! #2 comes to us from writer Matt Kindt, artist and cover artist Wilfredo Torres, color artist Nayoung Kim, and letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot.
Final Score: 8.5/10