Beat Back The Night With Banjax #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Banjax is disgusted by what his city has become, and he is afraid he may die before he can clean it up. He is sick, and he reflects on the life that has led up to this point. He was beaten as a child, and he learned that he had extraordinary strength when he accidentally killed his father. He lived on the streets afterwards, and he went on to become the superhero Banjax. This brought respect and eventually fame and fortune. He had a daughter and even took on a sidekick called Gyro. However, all of this only lead to a devastating fall.

Banjax #1 cover by Fabio Alves
Banjax #1 cover by Fabio Alves

Banjax #1 is a new dark twist on the superhero genre from Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint. Banjax is a brawling and brutal hero who once sat on top of the world, and now he must come to terms with his mistakes and mortality.

Rylend Grant presents an interesting portrait for Banjax. He’s a complex man with penchants for both cruelty and compassion, selfishness and selflessness. His long career finds him in both the position of hunted vigilante and celebrated hero. Deep down, he’s still a scared and angry boy though.

Comparing a comic to Watchmen can be hackneyed, but Banjax does warrant it. From the setup of its flashback, which is reminiscent of the Doctor Manhattan issue of Watchmen, to Banjax’s personal similarities to Rorschach. Like Walter Kovacs, Banjax is a violent and brutal borderline fascist, and the comic wants you to know that this person is deeply damaged and shouldn’t be anyone’s idea of a hero.

Banjax #1 art by Fabio Alves and Edson Ferreira with letters from HdE
Banjax #1 art by Fabio Alves and Edson Ferreira with letters from HdE

Fabio Alves’s artwork works the noir aesthetic to great effect, and it serves Banjax very well. The brutal and murky narrative is accompanied by a shadowed and textured world full of corruption. Edson Ferreira’s color work is dark to match.

Banjax #1 kicks off a promising new series starring a heavily-flawed and violent hero who, despite his best efforts, is more of a detriment to his city than much of the crime he fights. It’s a compelling and grabbing story, and it’s one easily worth a recommendation. Check it out.

Banjax #1 comes to us from writer Rylend Grant, artist and cover artist Fabio Alves, color artist Edson Ferreira, and letterer HdE.

Final Score: 8/10

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