Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson’s ‘Ballistic’ is unlike anything out there. Butch is the type of protagonist that would be considered scum in any other book. Yet, his insight into a life of crime makes him relatable and sympathetic. His unique perspective allows for the world around him to flourish just as it falls into disarray. Mortimer and Robertson continue to churn out the years most compelling and haunting comic.
I look forward to ‘Ballistic’ more than anything every month. It’s been consistently deep and amazing with every issue. The concepts Mortimer mines for his story are ripe with social commentary and serve to create a future unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The result is the epitome of body horror under the guise of science fiction.
Last issue saw Butch lose his hand, and if you believed things we’re going to get better, well then you’re a damn fool. Turns out Bang-Bang had been carrying a lethal virus that has now been unleashed. ATM machines are biting off people’s fingers and Repo City State has fallen into absolute chaos.
All the while Mortimer ensures Butch has this casual attitude to the entire thing. The city has fallen. Yet, he still can’t get his mind off becoming a criminal. His devotion is admirable. His motivations are clear, and his ideology is beautifully articulated. Butch may not be the best man to solve this crisis, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s the only one suited to do so.
Mortimer has created an alternate future where our technology has come to define us. Crime has become a new type of fame, and our technological creations are now more human than we are. Humanity as we know it is effectively dead, there doesn’t seem to be much worth fighting for.
Unless of course you’re following a selfish protagonist like Butch, then you fight for yourself. In a brilliant narrative turn Mortimer even make Gennie seem sympathetic to Butch’s dreams. It seems out of the chaos everything may get better for our heroes, and then Robertson has to go and ruin it.
Darick Robertson’s artwork is beyond anything. He is truly a master of his craft and his work here is nothing short of science fiction legend. The kiss that Butch and Gennie share has a certain visceral beauty to it. I found myself triple taking, trying to fully absorb what had just happened. Robertson has an amazing slight of hand. Almost every panel is better than the last. His bright facial expressions amongst the bright colors of Repo City State add so much depth to what seems like a bleak reality. His design of Bang-Bang only gets better and he still finds new ways to play with the living gun.
It’s so incredibly difficult to talk about this book and not discuss the plot. There is so much that goes into creating a world like this that most people wouldn’t be up to the task. Instead Mortimer and Robertson make it look easy. ‘Ballistic’ is an achievement on every level, and continues to be the most compelling series of the year. You can’t miss this book.
Rating 4.5/5 Skulls.