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Bullet Gal #10

Review by Paul Bowler

Following the release of the Bullet Gal trade paperback, issue #10 of the 12-issue Bullet Gal arc by Andrez Bergen continues, and will be available digitally and exclusively published in comic book form in Australia. This month Bullet Gal #10 introduces another great character to this IF? Commix series, a new recruit called Little Nobody, who has been given an urgent mission by Major Patriot to find Mitzi’s would-be-killer. However, as Little Nobody quickly discovers, life as a superhero is fraught with oddball dangers and uncannily perilous situations – especially when you are an ant sized newcomer faced with an insanely gigantic world…

After last issues innovatively silent take on Mitzi’s adventures, Bullet Gal #10 brings us the debut of Heropa’s newest hero, the diminutive Little Nobody. This latest issue of the IF? Commix book prequel series from Australian author Andrez Bergen, writer of the acclaimed noir-themed superhero detective novel Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa, IF? Commix series Tales to Admonish, Trista & Holt, the graphic novel Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, and his new novel Depth Charging Planet Goth, brings us his most quirky and off-the-wall adventure yet in Bullet Gal #10 – available May 1st 2015 digitally and in print mediums by Australia publisher IF? Commix.

Right from the get-go Bullet Gal #10 miniaturises us down to pavement level were Little Nobody is facing the thunderous challenge – and snapping mandibles – of a marauding ant. The flashback which follows quickly brings us up to speed, as we learn more about Little Nobody while he’s hanging out with his friends at the Teen Crusaders HQ, before a surprise call from Major Patriot gives our super-hero newbie the chance he’s been waiting for.

Bullet Gal #10 (Coverr)

With his mission briefing providing only scant clues: the photograph of a beautiful woman, a scribbled pseudonym, and the address for Ray-Man Studios, Little Nobody is ready to set off. Andrez Bergen playfully eschews the characters similarities with Ant Man. Although Little Nobody obviously has the ability to reduce to tiny size, he’s certainly no Hank Pym, he can’t control insects as the antenna on his helmet are purely for show, and even his snazzy looking utility belt holds little more than a few chocolate snack bars. So, when the journey begins Little Nobody soon discovers how everything suddenly feels very small once the world becomes instantly vast and immense around him. The characters inexperience and the haphazard nature of his first mission are what really defines this issue, a simple trip across the city becomes a dangerous urban safari viewed from Little Nobody’s miniaturised perspective, and it is these qualities that make his adventure so engaging and fun.

As the writer and artist of this IF? Commix series, Andrez Bergen has constantly pushed the boundaries of storytelling and art with Bullet Gal, and this issue really highlights Bergen’s ability to fuse story and art in new and refreshing ways. Andrez Bergen’s art blends seamlessly with the clever amalgamations of photomontages and digitally enhanced black and white images, while the distinct noir-infused style of previous issues is defused somewhat, this issue boldly establishes a kinetically refined identity and pace all its own that ingeniously expands the scope of the Bullet Gal series as Little Nobody embarks upon his mission.

The perils and pitfalls of Little Nobody’s journey provide a startling insight into this miniature world. A series of stylish montages and uncanny perspectives catalogue events: from the spinning record that divulges how Little Nobody chose his unusual moniker, we follow his unique trek across Heropa almost as if we were waving a magnifying glass over the page, as scenes shift from the bizarre, to the horrible, and the even pleasantly unexpected. Little Nobody’s battle with the ant is actually quiet unnerving, the latter stages of the mission prove less fraught, and the secret meeting deftly spliced with its allusions towards The Seventh Seal is utterly sublime.

Fortunately the ant would much rather munch on something sweet and chocolaty than the wannabe Cape that’s currently trying to kick its ass; and our tiny hero is soon able to escape from his six legged friend and move on. Little Nobody still has to endure the indignity of being scooped up by a kid with a bug catching net before finally reaching his destination, a death defying acrobatic feat in itself, achieved via the hat of an unsuspecting officer of the law and a billowing line of laundry. After eavesdropping on a clandestine meeting its time to contact Major Patriot, however, finding a telephone to relay what he’s discovered soon proves to be another tall order for Little Nobody to accomplish – it’s a small world after all…

Little Nobody’s adventure in Bullet Gal #10 provides an extraordinary and fresh slant on the events following the attempt on Mizi’s life, it introduces us to a brand new hero, and takes the series in an entirely unexpected direction. Bullet Gal #10 is about as clear a homage to the writers and artists of yesteryear that Andrez Bergen has ever done in any of his works, his admiration for this halcyon era of comics shines though on every page, and this issues somewhat lighter, more off-beat tone, makes it a delight to read.

Along with the release of Bullet Gal #10 in May there’s also latest issue of Bergen’s new IF? Commix 70’s crime series, Trista & Holt #3, to look out for, and the new Bullet Gal trade paperback edition: Its not you its me, which collects the entire 12 issue series, is also available now from IF? And Under Belly Comics. Bullet Gal #10 is another terrific issue in this IF? Commix series. Andrez Bergen raises the bar yet again with this pint-sized Die Hard mash-up with Tales To Astonish. With its hyper-stylish art and visuals, great characters, and strong plots, Bullet Gal is a series that continues to exceed all expectations. Little Nobody may be small but his fun personality is larger than life. His mission turns out to be one of this IF? Commix series’ most unexpected highlights and Little Nobody’s witty observations ensures a wry smile or two will also be had along the way.

Bullet Gal #10 is available May 1st 2015

digitally ($1) and in print form ($5) by Australia publisher IF?