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"Punk Mambo #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Valiant Entertainment

Punk Mambo 1 00

Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Adam Gorham
Colored by Jose Villarrubia
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 24th, 2019

Review:

Punk Mambo is back, working through New Orleans as a supernatural gun-for-hire. When a routine investigation gets personal, she finds help from an unexpected ally. She’s taken down a frightening path, but that’s not going to give her any pause. No one messes with Punk Mambo and gets away with it.

No one fights like Punk Mambo. Her fight scenes are some of the most unexpected, gruesome, and downright fun I’ve seen in recent memory. Artist Adam Gorham brings this to life in the most brutal way possible. Let me lay this out for you for a second. With a snap of her fingers, she rips a man’s insides out and fashions them into a reaper-blade and then proceeds to cut what’s left of the guy up with it. It’s as impressive as it is gory. The best part is she does all this with a smile on her face, like this is just something she does all the time. It’s an average Tuesday.

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I’ve gone back and forth on the character of Punk Mambo. You can’t deny her style and flair, however there are times she’s like an exposed nerve, lashing out at everything around her in angry ways. It’s like she has an omnipresent chip on her shoulder. This leads to some vulnerable moments which Gorham captures incredibly well. When something is stolen from her, she is left truly alone and has to look for help for the first time in quite a while. The look on her face says it all.

There’s some definite grit to Punk Mambo. This isn’t a bright and shiny part of the Valiant Universe. It’s got dirt under its fingernails and it shows. Colorist Jose Villarrubia brings that quality out in the book. It contrasts well with Punk Mambo’s magical abilities. When she taps into these energies, they swirl around the page in an electrifying fashion. It’s like night and day.

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Click images to enlarge

Some of this vulnerability comes out in Dave Sharpe’s letters. There are a few moments where Punk Mambo mutters to herself, showing her frustration and uncertainty about a given situation. These are shown in a smaller font, like she’s whispering to herself, which serves as a juxtaposition when compared to her normal brash composure.

Punk Mambo #1 leads to an impressive and interesting cliffhanger ending that sets up the overall premise for the series. Writer Cullen Bunn pulls at the character’s link with the supernatural, shaking it to its core. It also helps to redefine her a bit. She’s not just a stubborn punk. There’s a lot more going on here that we’ll get to explore.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Punk Mambo 1 Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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