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"Punk Mambo #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Valiant Entertainment

punk mambo 3 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 June 26th, 2019


Punk Mambo is on the hunt for the evil Uncle Gunnysack and she doesn't care who gets in her way. She's shown how willing she is to put others in danger and even sacrifice them if it means eliminating her target. After tagging Uncle Gunnysack, Punk Mambo thinks she has him right where she wants him. Instead, she finds a new kind of monster.

If I were to meet Punk Mambo in person, I would probably hate her. She has an abrasive personality that would most definitely rub me the wrong way in real life. Fortunately, this is more of a problem for the people she encounters in this comic.

We're used to magic being used in a proper way. Look at the stuck-up way the wizards carry themselves in Harry Potter. Punk Mambo is the opposite of that. She spits in the face of rules and regulations, blazing her own path. This shocks some of the people she comes across because they're just not used to someone like this.

Click images to enlarge

She's going to need every bit of that attitude and non-traditional magic if she wants to stop Uncle Gunnysack. This guy is intense. Artist Adam Gorham makes this monster stand out with a hulking body that's easily twice the size of Punk Mambo. His hands end in sharp claws ready to rip your throat out. My favorite quality is how his face is always in shadow, but the key features, like his shark-like jaw and menacing red eyes, cut through the darkness. If this is what we can see, what does his full face look like?

Letterer Dave Sharpe completes the package of terror with this monster. A haunting and bold font is used for his speech shown in wiggly word balloons. You can imagine the deep, gravelly voice that comes out of that huge gaping maw.

As intimidating as Uncle Gunnysack is, Azaire and his followers present a different yet just as deadly threat. Writer Cullen Bunn presents him as an intriguing character, a man of magic that cannot see or touch it. To reference Harry Potter again, imagine a squib, someone born to a family of wizards without any ability, that lashes out at the magical community. It's the origin of a super villain.

Click images to enlarge

Azaire toys with Punk Mambo, showing how he not only has the upper hand, but can decide her fate with a snap of his fingers. His followers all wear these creepy, poorly made masks. These are unsettling as the normal facial expressions of a human being are replaced with these quizzical, unmoving glares.

There's a gritty quality to Punk Mambo, coinciding with where the character comes from and how she see the world. This is washed away when she taps into magic. Colorist Jose Villarrubia changes the tone of the book completely when magic is used, opening the door to a slew of possibilities with bright lights. This drives home the idea that anything is possible with powers like this.

Some new challenges arise for Punk Mambo just when she thought she was getting ahead. That just makes her more dangerous as she has even less to lose now. As shocking as it is to see her get to this point, I'm eager to see what kind of Hell she's going to rain down now that her back is against the wall. This is the fast-paced supernatural thriller I didn't know I wanted.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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