• Bankshot #1



    Bankshot #1
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: June 28th, 2017.
    Written by: Alex de Campi
    Illustrated by: ChrisCross
    Purchase From Amazon

    The first issue of this new five issue mini-series starts out in Washington D.C. in F.B.I. Headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover building. Here a man addressed as Frank Gault returns from vacation and is told that Number One wants to see him immediately upon his return. He sits down, wonders why an older man named Donald appears to have had the shit kicked out of him and is promptly told that two of his men tried to detain Soraya Ali Khan, an associate of Marcus King, while she was in New York City shopping. She escaped and the agents made a big mess in their wake. Thirty-six hours later and Gault’s agents are dead, but before that those in the room looking roughed up were paid a personal visit by King himself who made it very clear that Ms. Khan is ‘off limits.’ Donald makes it clear that neither Gault nor his agents are to take any further action against King – a known terrorist - or his associates unless he personally approves it.

    We flash back to North Africa some time earlier were Marcus King (“I am not a terrorist”) tells us his story. He was 22, waiting in the desert with some other heavily armed men to take out a dictator who had fallen out of the good graces of his employer. He and his crew get to their armored cars and give chase to the convoy but it doesn’t go well, there are mines and explosions and crashes. King survives as do a few others but a firefight breaks out and then, to make matters worse, from the ‘wrong side’ of the border there’s some heavy artillery shelling. When the smoke clears, it looks like King’s the only one left from his patrol. It’s then that he meets The Dutchman.

    Present day, at a remote tropical island, one so well secured that it doesn’t even show up on a G.P.S. unit. A man named Sergei from the Russian intelligence service, the S.V.R., arrives to talk to King. A former Russian research facility has been taken over by terrorists and, as it’s in Ukraine, it’s clearly a touchy issue right now. Why would King be interested? Sergei shows him a picture of some of the people suspected to be held at the facility, people he thought dead from years back…

    Anyone familiar with Alex de Campi’s writing knows that she has a knack for telling hard assed stories with all sorts of grit and violence in them. Often with a fairly twisted sense of humor. We get that here – less humor, more of an emphasis on action and setting up some presumably pretty big things to come. We know just enough about Mr. King before the last page hits that we’re left wanting more, wanting to figure out who this guy is, how he wound up being an accused terrorist on the F.B.I.’s watch list, how he wound up living in a massive island mansion and doing business with the S.V.R.. It’s a good setup, one with lots of action, some of it shockingly nasty, but more importantly than that, it’s got solid character development.

    The artwork from ChrisCross, with coloring work from one Snakebite Cortez, is rock solid. Facial detail in particular really shines here, from those opening pages where we see the bruised and beaten Feds in the boardroom to the last page where we see one of The Dutchman’s men take a bead on his target. There’s a really good sense of energy to the action scenes, good movement and flow, and the panel layouts are strong. The colors help to emphasis all of this, especially those scenes that take place in the Middle East, where the arid landscape and hot desert sky really give you a sense of the environment where all of this is playing out.

    All in all a pretty entertaining and suspenseful first issue. Let’s see what happens next month…
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