Friday, April 27, 2018

Hit-Girl #3 Review

Mano et Mano 

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letters: Melina Mikulic
Cover Art: Amy Reeder
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: April 25, 2018
Reviewer: Andrew McAvoy

Let's start off with a little scene setting. Hit-Girl is full of violence, yes, but it is so fanciful and over-the-top that it reaches Itchy and Scratchy levels of humor. So bear that in mind, it may be ultra-violent, but it is also done with an ultra-black humor. Issues 1 and 2 gave us a completely over the top level of jaw-dropping bloodletting, but they also oozed great comic dialogue as well as a little sly commentary on the impact of narcos and gangsterism on the rest of us. Let's see if issue 3 continues to strike the perfect balance.

First though the art. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz's very delicate and humorous manga-esque style continues to wow in this issue, aided and abetted brilliantly by colors from Sunny Gho. One interesting thing about the art in this book is that the panels are so intricately detailed. There are often quite a few people in a relatively small panel and yet the detail of each person's facial expressions, their eyes and mouths are so unique that it really is worth studying each page in detail. The colors (unsurprisingly a lot of red) are to the fore in this issue which is pretty action-packed.

It is packing that action in that makes this issue is a little different from the first two. There is hardly a pause for breath in this issue which twists and turns its action scenes throughout the whole book. In previous issues there has perhaps been a little more time for those laugh out loud seemingly casual bits of dialogue - the references to comics and changes in the Batman personnel at DC, the jokes about the high-grade Russian weaponry, etc. This issue is a little tenser, and the hostage/bartering situation with a baby means that it hooks you in more and propels you through the issue.

The issue itself sees Millar build on what has gone before in terms of the relationship between Hit-Girl and Mano, or at least the lulling of Mano into a false sense of security. This issue uses that trust to turn the tables on him, and we start to see a kickback when Mano realizes that he's been played. The pace of this issue is rapid and it takes us nicely to the final issue of the story, with a great closing panel.

Bits and Pieces:

Despite the fact that there is a shift in the story style in this issue - more densely packed action, less humorous breaks, it still rocked. This series has been a delight to look at and a delight to read in its opening three installments. Special shout out to the wonderful Amy Reeder cover art too, which adds to the overall package.


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