Issue four of “Ballistic” proves to be no different than the three that preceded it. Butch’s haphazard inquest through the heart of Repo City State pushes forward and the secret of Bang-Bang is finally revealed. Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson routinely make other comics look bad. This is a book that taps into modern social issues with wild imagination under the guise of biological science fiction and body horror. It’s totally exciting and thought provoking.
If you’ve been routinely checking out “Ballistic” then you may remember the last issue of this series dropped in November. It’s been quite some time, so let’s recap. Butch wants to be a criminal. Gennie is blown to bits. Gennie 2 has joined the this casual criminal force and Bang-Bang Butch’s talking gun has a sensitive secret that seemingly every badass in Repo City State wants.
This month Mortimer further submerges his book in the depths of his insane research. His already deep world gets deeper and the backstory of his most interesting concept and character is explored in a tragic and exciting way. We’re finally given the backstory of the talking gun. It’s surprisingly heartfelt and goes a long way to explain the nature of just what Butch fell into.
It’s funny because through no efforts of his own Butch has fulfilled his goal. He is the most sought after criminal in Repo City State but his rise to fame was accidental in all the right ways. With his newfound status all sorts of terrifying threats emerge. They range for disgusting bio-creatures to deadly assassins.
Yet the real star of the show is the Cronenbergian body-horror at play here. Mortimer really delves into the fear of the living and breathing organisms that we share the world with and holds a lens to the relationship. The experience will make you cringe in revelation as you receive a startling look at the future.
Robertson’s art is a thing of sheer beauty. No task seems too large for the talented artist. As he brings his charm and wit to every page, the BigDick Gangster panel returns in full form, his flashback is action packed, and the fallout is somber. The finale of the issue is all around insanity that shows off both his paneling ability and his haunting character work.
“Ballistic” is easily the best and most polished comic book you’re not reading. It magnifies certain aspects of the human condition with such brilliance that it may make you feel uncomfortable. It is ripe with horror, self-reflection, and provides a totally unique take on science fiction while still finding the time to craft compelling characters. It’s a breath of fresh air in the all to cluttered science fiction arena that isn’t afraid to shock and educate you. It’s an invaluable reading experience that I urge you to read.