Bang! #1 – Matt Kindt, Wilfredo Torres, Nayoung Kim & Nate Piekos (Dark Horse Comics)

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What if reality wasn’t, well, real? What of the world and everything you thought you knew was merely a construct of someone or something’s idle day dreams and imagination? What if the key to all that we are, were and ever will be was hidden in the text of the novels of an obscure science fiction and mystery writer? And what if a covert intelligence organisation and multi-faceted hippie cult that had gradually morphed into a sophisticated criminal organisation were jockeying for position to find the author whose mind, and work, holds the secret to everything? Those questions and so many, many more form the basis of the opening chapter to Matt Kindt’s brilliant, cerebral and wildly creative Bang!.

A loving testament, and heartfelt ode, to both the works of Philip K. Dick and the spy movies that rose to prominence in the sixties that have gone to become an ingrained part of mainstream culture, Bang is an explosive bullet to the head that leaves you reeling and desperate for more.  Playing devotedly with the ideas and concepts that Dick held dear and fusing them with one of the glaringly obvious, if you actually think about it, plot holes in the Bond franchise that it twists, reshapes and uses to its advantage, Bang is a refreshingly original take on the inspirations that its draws so vividly from and pays homage to.

Capitalising on the underlying themes that Kindt’s story is built on, Torres and Kim give Bang! a familiar retro feel that makes it look like it’s set in the same universe, and period, as Derek Flint’s cinematic adventures which adds a whole extra layer of enjoyment to this wonderfully crazy and inventive book.  Strap in, hold on tight and get ready to be shaken not stirred because nothing in Bang! is what it seems, or appears, to be… Tim Cundle  

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