by Peter Milligan, Robert Gill

The story

Punk Mambo #0 gives us a well-written backstory to a character that is without a doubt one of the best characters to come out of Peter Milligan’s run on Shadowman. The character has always been very mysterious, and since Milligan’s run on that book was so short, there was never much we learned about her, until now.

The story takes Punk Mambo from the bayous of Louisiana to the streets of London, where we learn how she first became interested in voodoo magic, and how she learned many of her skills. As it turns out, her origin is closely tied to her punk music roots, and a very disturbing encounter with a man named Joe Mayhem who feeds off the energy of urban youths by keeping them in his home as drugged up sex slaves. As the story progresses, we learn what motivates Punk Mambo, about her upbringing, and what has happened to her to make her the solitary priestess she is today and that revenge is not always the answer to a problem. Milligan manages to take us on this journey of self-realization without ever coming off preachy, with plenty of character development and a satisfying end.

The art

Robert Gill continues to impress me with his pencils. This book didn’t seem as polished to me as his work on Eternal Warrior and Armor Hunters: Harbinger, but it seems to me like it wasn’t meant to be. It’s not that Gill’s pencil work is sloppy – quite the opposite in fact – but a great deal of that feeling has to do with the color work of Jose Villarrubia who uses more muted colors than I’ve seen on Gill’s pencils before. The color work is brilliant as always, and very fitting of the punk themes of the book and along the lines of what we’ve seen from both Shadowman and The Death Defying Dr. Mirage.


I would have loved to see Punk Mambo come back on her own with a miniseries, but Punk Mambo #0 is a great exploration of the character. With a good story and solid art, Punk Mambo #0 is not only a fun read, but a nice tribute to punk culture as a whole.

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