5 Skull Review: ‘Ballistic’ #1


Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson’s “Ballistic” truly needs to be seen to be believed. A hapless hero and his talking gun sidekick amidst the backdrop of a bioengineered future makes for one of the best and most original comic book series in years.

“Ballistic” is one of the best premiere issues I’ve ever read. A true homerun on every level that is impossible to put down. Don’t miss this book.

WRITTEN BY: Adam Egypt Mortimer
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: Black Mask Studios
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: July 10th, 2013

“Ballistic” is an incredibly original and deep look into the criminal underworld of the future. In this future all technology is biomimetic, bioengineered and literally alive. Vivid creatures offering a unique blend of biological and technological qualities populate the world.

We follow Butch an air conditioning repairman who lives in Repo City State. Air conditioners are complicated machines here. Butch is introduced and quickly removes an optical nerve switcher from a dysfunctional unit. He’s good at what he does, but he longs for more. He wants to be a criminal. A bank robber specifically, like John Dillinger.

Butch is accompanied by Bang Bang, his talking gun sidekick. Mortimer uses amazing dialogue to establish playful animosity between the two heroes. Bang Bang is always busting Butch’s balls, and what results are some truly fantastic exchanges between the most unlikely paring: an action hero, and his weapon of choice.

Mortimer’s script is rock solid. Repo City State is fully realized and exposition flows seamlessly on every page. The world is dense and full of new terms, creatures, and rules. Mortimer manages to communicate these things in a clear and interesting way, while not slowing down the pace of the book. Through all of this Repo City State manages to become the most interesting character on the page.

The entire thing feels very Cronenberg-esque, and is truly own of the most original takes on the future put to print. The tone is serious and funny at the same time. The stylistic use of narration allows for some levity in otherwise very dark moments.

Darick Robertson’s art is nothing short of incredible. The depth to which he evokes this world is almost staggering. Page five is a splash panel that truly flexes the art muscle and still tells us a lot about the world we are in. Robertson’s depiction of these biotechnological creations is so unique and beautiful. Everything has the disgusting feeling that it is real and breathing.

Then you have moments like page seven that defy conventional paneling and display information in such a dynamic way that the book captivates you. The detail in Robertson’s work is so incredible that you’ll find yourself wasting a lot of time studying the intricacies of a table leg in a dialogue driven panel.

Butch’s journey is engaging and entertaining. The world is unlike anything else, and the art is nothing short of amazing. The tone is haunting and charming, and the book is irresistible.

Every meticulous detail of this world has been thought out. Mortimer and Robertson have gone to great lengths to create something unavailable anywhere else. This book is deeply researched and clearly a labor of love.

Often first issues suffer from issues of pacing, and even more often science fiction books spend too much time explaining their world. “Ballistic” gets everything right by explaining the world in an interesting fashion while showing how the world works. The main character is so engaging that the entire book is irresistible to put down. I’ve been singing this series’ praise ever since I got my eyes on this issue and I urge everyone to pick it up.

Currently “Ballisitc” is set to run as a limited series. Rumblings about the further adventures of Butch have come up if the series does well. Repo City State has so much to offer that we cannot possibly let the character die. “Ballistic” is the beginning of a whole new world and it’s one I want to be part of for a long time.

5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ