By Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Bandette is back! After the physical release of the first six issues of the series, and some time away, the wig-wearing thief is back at it. As the first arc wrapped up, Bandette and Monsieur decided to put aside differences in order to tackle a bigger threat. Having received a secretive list of items to steal from Absinthe, Bandette has decided to strike back at the organization so intent on taking her out.
Paul Tobin wastes no time in getting readers back into the world of Bandette. As the story opens, readers find Bandette unmasked and gushing over the pure delight of pastries in a French bakery. Tobin continues the playful nature in Bandette, having the lead offer up one of her stolen artifacts in broad daylight for more delicious pastries. On top of it all, this transaction takes place right in the midst of Bandette tailing the red-cloaked woman who provided the secretive list to Monsieur! It is a great opening act to the issue as it reminds readers just how fun the world this world can be.
There is also a good bit of ground covered in issue six. Bandette and Monsieur are seen working their way through the list, some of her urchins seek out other clues, and readers learn more about the shadowy villain that appeared at the conclusion of the previous arc. It’s an interesting balance once the book starts to shift more towards this new character. Referred to as Il Tredici, the story beats that involve him are much less playful than anything so far. Tobin manages these elements well but the departure of the whimsical tone during these sequences is definitely notable.
As per the norm in Bandette, the pages of the issue six continue to be absolutely stunning. Colleen Coover paints the city during the day as such a wonderful and warm environment. It is the perfect compliment to the writing of Bandette and the other characters that surround her. One of the interesting aspects to how Coover colors these issues is her use of accents. From the pink frosting on the pastries, to the stark contrasts of Bandette’s costume or Absinthe’s green sweater, it is very impressive to see just how effective these moments are in making certain items or people pop as compared to their surroundings. Likewise, as the tone shifts, there is a distinct increase in some darker colors within the panels.
In the sixth issue, Bandette reintroduces the audience to the major players and tone of the series before taking off in a bold new direction. A lot of ground is covered, and a more sinister story line appears to be ahead. Even so, Tobin and Coover start this new arc as confidently as the first, and readers will be quite satisfied.