Not The First But Perhaps The Last: ‘Bang! #1’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Thomas Cord is an MI-X agent on the hunt for “The Eighteen Stigmata of Philip Verve,” which he believes to be in the hand of Gold Maze, a worldwide criminal organization. Upon his escape and collection of the famed book, Thomas Cord is killed by his would-be sexual partner, Fanny. Later, Thomas Cord is called to the headquarters of MI-X and tasked with retrieving Philip Verve himself from Gold Maze. Upon his arrival, Thomas Cord is gassed by a drone and his perception of reality is irrevocably changed. 

Bang! #1 cover by Wilfredo Torres
Bang! #1 cover by Wilfredo Torres

Bang! #1 introduces us to a James Bond-like protagonist in Thomas Cord. He’s a womanizing killer who works for a clandestine organization in MI-X. However, this premise is shattered when Thomas Cord is killed by Fanny and he’s replaced by a new Thomas Cord.

This seems to be a joke on the amount of actors who have portrayed James Bond in the past 60-or-so years. In that way, James Bond is more of a position than an identity or person.

Things seem almost straightforward from there–the new Thomas Cord goes on a mission for MI-X without any knowledge that there was a prior Thomas Cord. However, the comic decides to take an almost reality-warping twist from there and we’re left to wonder what is truly at the heart of Bang!

Bang! #1 art by Wilfredo Torres, Nayoung Kim, and letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot
Bang! #1 art by Wilfredo Torres, Nayoung Kim, and letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot

The reality-bending plot aside, there is plenty of humor and charm to Bang! #1 and the artwork of Wilfredo Torres is lively, grabbing, and all-around enjoyable. It gives the book more personality and Torres renders the action scenes in a satisfying manner. Nayoung Kim gives the book a popping color palette, well-suited to the garish spy-thriller elements.

Bang! #1 is a charming and gripping spy-thriller mixed with boundary-breaking sci-fi elements. We are introduced to a new hero–or lineage of heroes–as well as a mystery that may track to the very core of this hero’s reality. It’s a highly enjoyable read which easily earns a recommendation. Check it out.

Bang! #1 comes to us from writer Matt Kindt, artist and cover artist Wilfredo Torres, color artist Nayoung Kim, letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot, and variant cover artist Matt Kindt.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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