Reviews: Bad Boy

Published on June 2nd, 2009

What you gonna to do when they come for you? Ask Bad Boy because it’s Trade Tuesday and I’m bringing you a super creator team up! The comic legend Frank badboyMiller teams up with Brit super artist Simon Bisley to bring what I’d like to say was a forgotten gem of story lost in the mists of time. I’d like to say that but I can’t, so I’ll give you Bad Boy, an interesting blip of story lost in the mists of time. Originally published as a serial in the British GQ magazine it must have seemed like a great idea at the time. Bring together two of the biggest names in comics in the late 90’s and hope to create an instant classic. What you get instead is a story that doesn’t quite get there…

The story tells of Jason, a 7 year old kid who is desperate for a cigarette, who isn’t sure if the robot zombies chasing him are dreams or memories, and who isn’t convinced that his doting parents (who are concerned over him as they take him from the hospital) are what they seem. It’s a nice set up and it promises a lot. Having a little kid as an anti-hero is a cool idea, and while the whole ‘what is reality’ thing may have been done to death in comics, it’s still a fun ride.

So what’s wrong with it? Well to be honest it just doesn’t seem that either of the creators are running at full strength. The story is rather derivative and doesn’t really live up to it’s own premise. Bisley’s artwork is great, but his strength has always been fully painted art and this is just colored line work. It’s good but you know that he has done better. Perhaps the biggest problem with the book is that the whole thing is about 200 pages too short. Running at a paltry 34 pages the story, after hinting at a much bigger back-story, refuses to expand. You never find out why or how or anything. It seems straightforward enough that you can guess what the back-story would be, but it simply is left open. The end. No answers.

On the plus side this 10th anniversary edition has a great cover and some really nice cover art and sketches included.

So why choose this trade at all? Well, there’s a Spanish comic fan movie maker called Miguel Mesas who made 4 fan films, just to show what he could do, each one based on a classic comic; Slaine the Horned God, Arkham Asylum, Captain Harlock and Bad Boy. It looked so good that I had to check it out. I wish the book was as good as his work. Check out Mesas’ trailer for Bad Boy, and then don’t bother reading it.

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Mat Hyde