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Bullet Gal #4

Review by Paul Bowler

Bullet Gal #4 is the latest issue in the IF? Commix book series from Australian author Andrez Bergen, writer of the superhero noir-themed detective novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? , and the IF ? Commix book series Tales to Admonish. With the recent release of his new novel, Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth and the graphic novel Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, the latest issue of Japan based writer Andrez Bergens IF? Commix book series, Bullet Gal #4, will be published in print form in October 2014 in Australia.

Bullet Gal is the popular character that has featured in many of Andrez Bergens previous works, this new ongoing prequel series has introduced us to Mizi, the trigger-happy teen armed with two polished nickel, pearl-handled Star 9mm revolvers, who has travelled to Heropa to embark on her personal battle against organised crime. Mizi’s actions brought her to the attention of Lee, a mysterious cape (Super-Powered type), and Mizi later accepted his offer to begin training so she could join The Crime Crusaders Crew.

However, with her appetite for wanton destruction and a double-shot strong espresso, Mizi’s war against crime has affected the rackets of vicious gang leader Sol, who then sent his personal assassin and lover, French femme fatale Brigit, to spy on Bullet Gal while they conspire to destroy her. But when Mitzi discovered Lee actually had seven identical doppelgangers, a sniper called the Big Game Hunter struck as Mitzi confronted Lee in the apartment, a shot rang out, and now Bullet Gal must deal with the aftermath this fateful shooting. With her enemies closing in, Mitzi finally uncovers the truth about the Lee, and soon our heroine will have to decide if she will continue to fly solo or choose another path…

Bullet Gal #4 (Cover)

Bullet Gal #4 begins with a shocking tragedy for Mizi, as the real target of Big Game Hunter’s bullet is revealed. It’s a defining moment for Mizi and the series itself, one that ruthlessly dashes our preconceptions, to deliver an audacious twist that few could have expected. Death to the Eighth Degree is a dark, emotional, trek into the clandestine machinations of Bergin’s intricately structured universe, as the ominous rain-swept metropolis of Heropa begins to divulge its secrets in this, Bullet Gal’s darkest hour.

Mizi has witnessed death many times, but this rocks her to the core, so when Mizi encounters another of Lee’s doppelganger’s after the harrowing funeral, she finally gets to vent her anger at being deceived. These scenes in the bar, where Mizi, fuelled by half a dozen glasses of Bollinger, confronts this new dead ringer for Lee (one of the remaining 7 doubles) is a heartfelt mixture of pent up fury and sorrow as Lee explains the stark reality of the subdivision that created both him and his fellow duplicates – along with the individual quirks and personalities of each persona. While this version may not be “her” Lee, he actually seems closer to Mizi’s temperament than his predecessor, possessing a droll demeanour and dry sense of humour, and the way that she sums up the differences between the duplicates is bang on the money.

With its compelling story and art by Andrez Bergen, this issue of Bullet Gal is one of the most emotionally charged instalments to date. Bergen’s distinctive artistic style is really brought to the fore here, as he builds the noir-infused atmosphere within a richly textured a mix of photomontage, painting, and digital techniques: from the aftermath of a bullets trajectory through a window, we feel the heartbreak of a punch line lost on a dying breath, to the bleakness of a funeral, and a bittersweet revelation in a back street bar, Bullet Gal #4’s mesmerising blend of noir crime caper and wry sci-fi punk is utterly sublime.

Bullet Gal #4 features a number of added extras: including a terrific Bullet Gal pin up page from Italian artist Giovanni Ballati, the Bullet Gal story All Fur Coat no Knickers (Written by Andrez Bergen & with art by Matt Kyme) originally presented in Tales To Admonish #2, the poster for the graphic novel Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, a feature on one of the Lee’s dressed as Major Patriot, and another fun instalment of Dejavu At the Neon Bullpen.

Events move at a brisk pace in this issue, as Mizi discovers the truth about Lee, and has to face the most difficult decision of her life. Everything she’s trained for is about to come to fruition, new allies are found, while old enemies are ready to strike, its time for Mizi to accept her destiny, the question is, will she accept the offer that‘s on the table? Bullet Gal #4 is a stunningly crafted and excellent new issue from Andrez Bergens IF? Commix book series. The world Bergen has created here is dark and enticing; making it an uncanny fusion of storyline and art, and this lavish noir style adventure continues to draw us ever further into the shadowy world of Heropa and its fascinating cast of characters.

 

Bullet Gal #4, is published in print form in October 2014 in Australia, along with the digital version, and available direct from the IF? Commix website.

FIND OUT MORE FROM IF? COMMIX VIA THEIR SITE:

iffybizness.weebly.com

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