Eight Way Bandits #1

Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Eight Way Bandits #1 Creator(s): The Hustle Bros. and Federico Zumel
Publishers: Eight Way Bandits (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $3.50(US)

This is the first instalment in what promises to be an interesting and complex title. The opening concentrates on the young female character named Anisha Rose AKA ‘The Rose,’ a hired gun, an assassin, for her crippled father and his secret organization, The Winter Organization, And she is pretty good at her job as well. By the second page she is busy hacking away, with considerable energy, at those Daddy wants dealt to.

The scene that follows this carnage is probably the best on offer in the entire comic as ‘The Rose’ enters a barber shop to carry out her next mission. These two pages give us a chilling insight into the cold, hard and ruthless mind of an assassin. The single minded way she carries out a cold blooded murder in front of innocent bystanders is sheer horror and very effective because of that.

All of this is pretty grim and the unemotional way she kills is chilling to say the least.
There is no respite for the reader either as another character is introduced, Bounyoy Pfau AKA ‘The Sheik’ is a character with many sides to his personality and in this edition none of those sides are particularly nice. He should get on well with ‘The Rose’ then, I feel that their meeting is inevitable and is bound to be explosive.

So Pfau is a super chameleon, one of a few individuals who are able to physically alter their appearance. As such he is an indentured servant of MegaGen the corporation that hold the patent on the gene that enables him to change. He is also a Q Man [quarry man] a man hunter for the Gramercy Agency. So he seems to have many masters, and many personalities, this probably explains why he seems to be such an angry man/ chameleon/ thing.

Just when we think that, he we go with another story of rampaging killers chasing and slaughtering their targets, the creators change the focus and reveal the human, softer side of Anisha Rose. It is this change of pace and this character development that ensures that at least one of the characters in Eight Way Bandits grows beyond a flat stereotyped comic character and by the time we gave finished reading has developed into a rounded and complex person, this alone is probably enough to ensure the comics popularity.

Anisha is not only believable but also a character that extracts some degree of sympathy from me as a reader. We see Anisha in her daytime job as a loved elementary school teacher who is not at ease with her dual existence. A concern shared by her brother as it happens. The balance of action and character/narrative development is handled well and should ensure that this new title not only endures, but attracts a loyal fan base.

The main visual problem apparent in this comic is the lack of sufficient gutters. Even when they are utilised they are often too narrow. The effect this has is that the panels overlap and tend to bleed into each other. So many of the 24 pages appear crowded to the point of being claustrophobic. The frames are crying out for space to breathe and as readers we need the gutters to enable us to be able to focus on the action within each and every frame and also to allow for the passage of time and action that takes place between the frames. Remember, as we all do, that the action often takes place between the frames but the space for that to occur has to be present. So if I have any advice at all to the creators it would be to plea for the right of the pages to breathe. Hey and those guys at ‘Comixpress’ are doing a damn fine job eh.

In a Word: Paced..

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