COMIC BOOK REVIEW: BULLET GAL / WRITER: ANDREZ BERGEN / ARTIST: ANDREZ BERGEN / PUBLISHER: UNDER BELLY, IF? / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
It's the era of World War II, 17-year-old Mitzi lands in the dysfunctional, dystopian city, Heropa. A crime ridden, high-octane city relying on teams of superheroes to save the day. Mitzi (aka Bullet Gal) doesn't have super powers but sees herself as the queen of justice armed with 9mm pistols, surviving using her own wit. She soon meets Lee who happens to have his own kind of super power, Mitzi is unsure if she can trust him. Surrounded by drama and tragedy, Mitzi is creating enemies in this bizarre universe. She suffers love and loss but still manages to pull out brilliant quips thanks to writer and artist Andrez Bergen whose snappy dialogue keeps the ball rolling.
Bullet Gal is a unique and unconventional approach to the comic format. Bergen has captured the imagination of many with his latest instalment of neo-noir influenced by sci-fi, pulp fiction and hard-boiled crime stories. As an artist, Bergen has created visuals that befits all the aforementioned. Having worked in photography and short art films it seems a lot of inspiration and skills have be honed to create an abstract composition of edited photos and original art. Reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's photomontages for Monty Python, but darker and grittier. This is crime-caping with bags of attitude.
Bergen took Bullet Gal from his previous novel Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? He obviously had a lot of love for the character as she also appears in anthology comic Tales to Admonish with her own story “All Fur Coat, No Knickers”. As Bullet Girl is a prequel to these stories it isn't necessary to read these first, although it will be interesting to see what adventures she gets up to next. It's been deservingly compared to Frank Miller's Sin City and Ed Brubaker’s Velvet having successfully turned the femme fatale tropes around and created a kick-ass female character.