Set in a brilliant new sci-fi universe, Sharkey is a blue-collar bounty hunter who tracks criminals across the galaxy in his converted, rocket-powered ice-cream truck. Aided and abetted by his ten-year-old partner, he’s out for the biggest bounty of his career.
Netflix’s latest live-action project from Mark Millar. Read the comic before you see the movie!
Let’s get this out of the way straight off. Sharkey the Bounty Hunter is definitely a mature title. Mark Millar doesn’t pull any punches with gratuitous language or nudity. This opening chapter kicks off in a seedy bar on Tefi-8, a ‘total shithole’ in the middle of gentrification. Sharkey’s there to collect a particularly challenging bounty in Multiple Jax, an outlaw wanted on multiple counts of armed robbery who can split himself into thirty eight tiny versions of himself. After making the collar and only collecting a fraction of his bounty, he hooks up with a leggy cyborg and gains a young ward before blowing the scene and heading off on the bounty of a lifetime.
Millar doesn’t mess around with a lot of exposition, which is refreshing. He lets the characters and setting introduce themselves in a way that’s organic and flows easily. Sharkey is a young, purple Sean Connery with a big gun and and a mustachioed swagger. Cashes in on the whole bad boy image, but turns out to have a soft spot for little green orphans. There are clearly several tropes playing out here, but they mesh in a way that feels fresh and new(ish).
Simone Bianchi brings an aesthetic that is simultaneously familiar and alien. His principals are generally humanoid, but even with the more exotic supporting characters, emotion is clearly displayed through expression and posture. Settings are rich and detailed. There’s an element of controlled chaos that’s bizarre and tense and covered with a layer of grime.
This opening chapter has a lot going for it. The characters and setup are interesting. With limited series like this, it’s easy to fall into pacing traps. Seems like Millar’s got a clear vision where this thing is headed. Looking forward to the next installment and the Netflix film that’s already in the works.
Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1 (of 6), Image Comics, released 20 February 2019. Written by Mark Millar, art/color by Simone Bianchi, letters by Peter Doherty, variant covers by Frank Quitely, Matteo Scalera with Moreno Dinisio, Ozgur Yildirim, and Karl Kerschl.