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Bomb Queen II: Dirty Bomb - The Queen of Hearts (Image Comics/Shadowline)

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bqheaderJimmie Robinson's tale of the ultimate bad girl continues in this latest collection. It's pure greasy, oily, tawdry, exploitive, subversive delight.

 

 

128 pgs. FC; $14.99

(W / A: Jimmie Robinson)

 

Normally, if I told you I was reading a comic about a chick with big chest cannons that runs around killing people with her ass hanging out, you'd probably roll your eyes and think, "typical comic book geek!" And normally you'd be right, but this is something different. This is the epitome of anti-heroine, the morally devoid, utterly sociopathic (yet still easy on the eyes) Bomb Queen. Fun for both fanboys and those with the bleakest, most nihilistic senses of humor. Yet Bomb Queen is somehow more than another hot cup of tits and ass.

 

All those other comics about villains, be they ongoing or self-contained minis? The ones where the bad guy takes center stage and shows off how splendidly, generically evil they are? Killing people, but otherwise never really seeming all that bad, practically indistinguishable from the hero even? You can buy that stuff from Marvel and DC all day long, every day. However, when you see Bomb Queen on the shelves, specifically the new trade Bomb Queen II: Dirty Bomb - The Queen of Hearts, grab it. It's pure greasy, oily, tawdry, exploitive, subversive delight. At times the humor is so black, so dark, you'll think the sun went out. More often than not, it's not even what Bomb Queen does herself that defines her permanently broken moral compass. It's what she turns a blind eye to, what she tacitly endorses, that makes her more reprehensible than anything the Big Two can dish out.

 

The cover to Bomb Queen II by Jimmie Robinson. Click thumbnail for a larger image.As absolute ruler of New Port City, which more closely resembles John Carpenter's Escape from New York than the inspiration for both, the real New York, Bomb Queen has established Crime Zones that permit any atrocity, any base activity your perverted little mind can imagine. Usually it's not right there in your face, turning your stomach with its over rendered goriness. Writer-artist Jimmie Robinson is too clever for that, his style too playful. As stated in the introduction by Andrea Speed of "the devil is in the details."

 

Serial killers with photos of their victims posted up in their cubicles at work. Mom serving a cannibalicious evening meal to her smiling children! Establishments like Nazi Bar and Abortion Arcade. Black-eyed kids. Transsexual rape. Don't forget the dead bodies everywhere and I do mean everywhere! Laying in the street, lynched from lampposts, with heads and without. On the first page alone we see the aftermath of a non-sanctioned bank robbery. Bomb Queen has handily exploded everyone into submission and in the background two helpful paramedics are rescuing bags of money with their stretcher.

 

Hysterical, but the well just keeps going, deeper and deeper into new layers of substrata. There is plenty to look for beyond the morbidly funny sight gags; commentaries on the media, hypocrisy, the comic book industry, the nature of power and violence, terrorism, and especially with the advent of "Bomb King," regime change. Robinson's uber-bad girl isn't just eye candy or a vehicle for gallows humor. There is some thought provoking stuff here, you just have to keep an open eye and an open mind. Robinson serves up so much sugar with the pill that most readers will probably walk away unaffected. If all you want is cheesecake and bared breasts, Bomb Queen will deliver. If you want something more, something to confuse and disturb and titillate those other parts of the brain not directly wired in to sex and violence, well, that's there too. Other bonuses specific to this collection include several pin-ups, the Bomb Queen vs. Blacklight One-Shot, an interview with BQ creator Jimmie Robinson, and a sketchbook giving a look at the early design phases of the titular character back when she was just another villain.

 

Like the upside down microcosm of New Port City, where left is right and right is wrong, the Bomb Queen II graphic novel will give you anything your twisted little heart could ever desire. You just have to be greedy enough to grab it and pray your brain doesn't explode. | Greg O'Driscoll

 

To read the entire first issue of Bomb Queen, visit Jimmie Robinson's ComicSpace page. If the review didn't tip you off, it's not so work-safe. Just so you know. Also, check out the related links below for 5 pages from Bomb Queen vs. Blacklight One-Shot, which is featured in the Bomb Queen II collection reviewed above.

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