By Herik Hanna, Bruni Bessadi & Gaétan Georges
Holiest of cows, what a trip! The first installment in Dynamite Entertainment’s new series, Bad Ass, was a shock to the senses in the best possible way. Going into this review without any notion of what might be involved in the book might’ve been the best course of action given how difficult the overall nature of the series is to fully capture in a simple description like “Deadpool meets Kick-Ass”.
Bad Ass #1 was a seriously wacky issue that perfectly mixes extreme violence with dark humor. Right from the first panel Herik Hanna immediately gives readers a strong sense of the main character’s personality. One word sums him up and that’s misanthropy; he hates people and that means everybody. He gets a real kick out of tripping an annoying kid prior to casually killing a street block full of people. Despite the extreme violence that occurs throughout this first installment, even this first horrific scene is conveyed with a fair amount of humor that adds a ton to the overall delivery. Throughout Bad Ass #1 there are also numerous flashbacks to the protagonist’s high school days as a pimply faced dork who is constantly bullied. Pretty typical fare for the genre, but that doesn’t take away from the humor of these passages. There are also a number of thoroughly wacky characters in this book, including a humanoid dragon and a Baroque-looking version of Catwoman. Even during the many pages covering the epic fight scene, the writing provides insight into the protagonist and the story through interesting narration.
However, the artwork was also a really big standout in this first issue. The whole book looks like a vibrant, realistic cartoon jam-packed with dynamic action and life. The visuals were the most surprising treat in this book, and Bruni Bessadi’s illustrations have a great cartoony feel while still being excellently detailed and clear. The action scenes are captured with tremendous vitality that makes these panels feel particularly cinematic and exciting. The colors done by Gaétan Georges are also fantastic! The color is amazingly vibrant throughout the book which adds a sense of zany Saturday-morning cartoons while simultaneously enhancing the detail and depth of each image.
It was pleasantly surprising just how enjoyable this first issue was! The characters were interesting, particularly the protagonist who was quite engaging, and the book was filled with exciting action, sarcastic dialogue, and phenomenal visuals. Bad Ass #1 will catch your attention with its off the wall craziness, but the story itself has a lot of potential.