Stray Bullets 4 (June 1995)

Stray Bullets #4So, with this issue, Lapham does two things. First, he resurrects a previously presumed dead character and fills in, through exposition, the year between stories. But then he also spends the entire issue teasing danger for the character, only to go for a somewhat black, but still comedic relief finish for the issue.

It’s kind of a cop out. Not because there can’t be okay people in the world–or at least people who aren’t complete monsters–but because Lapham spends the whole issue twisting the reader’s perspective. The issue’s a road trip, not a scenic one, but a road trip; only Lapham’s taking the reader for that ride.

There’s some strong character work on the returning character and not so good character work on the new cast member. Lapham is intentionally deceptive. It’s hard to build a character while tricking the reader.

Cop out or not, it’s masterfully done.

B 

CREDITS

Bonnie and Clyde; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capitán Books.

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