Consider yourself lucky.
The Bullet Family takes family drama to a new level. How else could the story of a family with the last name Bullet begin then with a dead body?
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Aliens, magic, gangsters and ancient monsters are just a few of the uninvited guests that follow. The Bullet Family, however, are the true stars of this story. Wild Bullets is love letter to the pulp heroes of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Kelly, Steve, Archie and Minerva each shine in Wild Bullets as representatives of distinct tropes that have sadly been forgotten in modern fiction.
Typically, a one-shot with so many characters would suffer from excess and repetition. Fortunately, Wild Bullets tells its story from four distinct points of view. For those familiar with the Japanese samurai epic Rashomon, you’ll recognize similarities. Wild Bullets borrows employs the same narrative device. The perception of characters and readers changes based on who is telling the story.
- Kelly Bullet is an adventurer for the sake of adventure. She’s reminds one of Tom Sawyer in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The murder of the maid is not enough for her to garner any sympathy. She’s needs there to be an element of danger to pique her interest. In response to the discovery of the body begins with “if we treat this as an adventure…”
- Steve Bullet, a hard boiled detective, is depicted in muddy black and white tones. This reflects the atmosphere he thrives in. It makes sense given the the world of private eyes. There’s right, wrong and everything else in between.
- Archie Bullet is a cross between Dr. Frankenstein and Herbert West. He is a contradiction of sorts. On one hand, he says that he hates “not knowing what’s going on…” On the other, his entire existence appears to be focused on injecting the world with disorder and confusion. He craves logical answers while he conducts illogical and dangerous experiments.
- Finally, we are introduced to Minerva Bullet. In contrast to Archie’s science, Minerva is involved in the mystical. She also appears to have nothing but contempt for her siblings. It’s that sense of being an outcast that has led her to the dark arts, constantly interested in the fringes of society.
If the four different points of view of these characters wasn’t enough, Wild Bullets takes it one step further. Aside from the introduction and conclusion, the four sections of the book are each told from a Bullet’s point of view. Each character sequence of the story is drawn by a different artist. Sean Seal, Stephen Sharar, Jason Jimenez, Joe Freye and Sara Sowles all deserve credit. They have taken four disparate art styles and made them fit within the context of the Bullet Universe. The beauty of the art is that they did not attempt to emulate the same style. The contrasting sequences are incorporated into the story .
Wild Bullets is a gateway to the pulp universe. What makes it unique is that, unlike the pulp stories Wright is borrowing from, these characters are able to interact with each other. The collision of universes allows the different narratives to put their genres into perspective. More so than your average superhero team-up, The Bullet Family wouldn’t work as individual characters. So much of what does work is that each one of them feels more alive when they’re reaching across genres and saying hello to worlds they’ve never been able to play in before. Until now.
Pick up a copy of Wild Bullets and prepare to be blown away…four times.
Nick Bennett is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TheTVBuddy