Friday, March 25, 2011

Bonnie Lass #2

Last month, I checked out Red 5’s inaugural digital-first comic, Bonnie Lass and wrote about it for Robot 6:
[It's] surprising in a couple of ways. For one thing, it’s bawdier and sillier than the other Red 5 books I’ve read. Bonnie Lass isn’t just a description of the main character, it’s also her name. So, as you can tell from the pun, the humor is pretty low-brow. There are jokes about Bonnie’s breast size and plenty of physical slapstick; not really what I’m used to from the company that publishes Atomic Robo and Neozoic.

But just as I was ready to write it off as a disappointing gag-book, it clicked in with an exciting action sequence and finished the first issue with an interesting villain. It also revealed that the story doesn’t just take place in a fantastic version of seventeenth-century Earth. It’s an amalgamation of that and Westerns with a bit of Film Noir and some modern technology thrown into the mix as well. The result is a light-hearted adventure story that owes as much to Indiana Jones as Pirates of the Caribbean. Which, now that I think of it, is exactly the kind of thing that Red 5 publishes.
Now that I've read the second issue, I like the series even more. I'm used to the light-hearted, slightly naughty tone now and appreciate even more a world in which better pirate ships are equipped with GPS. I also like that co-writers Michael Mayne (no relation) and Tyler Fluharty have dedicated a substantial part of the issue to rounding out Bonnie's motivation for wanting to one-up her famous pirate father. That doesn't mean that there's no forward movement on the treasure-hunt plot, but it's nice that Bonnie has good reasons for feeling the way she does and that she's a deeper character than just Cute Pirate Girl.

Mayne and Fluharty have some hard work ahead of them to make Bonnie's slacker friends and brother as sympathetic as she is, but they've already started laying some of that foundation. Bonnie Lass holds a lot of promise.

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