Writer: Ed Brisson
Penciller: Guillermo Sanna
Colorist: Miroslav Mrva
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 3/1/17
Ed Brisson and Guillermo Sanna have undertaken one of the more difficult tasks a comic book writer/artist team can take on by attempting to recast Bullseye as an anti-hero of sorts. Not that there hasn’t been material in the past that has shown Hell’s Kitchen’s favorite assassin in a fun and different light, but this is an entirely different matter.
Plot: The basic plotline has Bullseye on a rescue mission to save the son of an American gangster from a cartel in Colombia. Guys like Bullseye don’t usually do things in a manner that would avoid detection. After all, what fun is it if you don’t let your target know they’re being hunted, and that’s exactly the approach taken by our anti-hero. Unbeknownst to Bullseye, he is being tracked by a law enforcement agent hellbent on ending his life because events in her past have led to this point. It’s a classic game of cat and mouse, the hunter is just being hunted for a change, and he doesn’t seem to mind one bit.
Story: I really wasn’t sure if I liked what Ed Brisson was doing. The first book in the series asks a lot of the reader when it comes to forgiving pointless sins in the name of advancing a basic plot. Why Bullseye had to murder an entire stoplight’s worth of New Yorkers before he got started on a rescue mission is beyond me, but it didn’t exactly endear me to the series or the character. That all changed with the release of the second book.
Maybe the feedback helped them map out a different approach for the second book, but the humor was a lot less black and didn’t depend on the pointless murders of innocents to show that the character is a badass. Brisson did a great job of turning the feel of this book into a classic Punisher foreign retrieval job. You know some people are going to die, you know bad guys are likely going to come out on top, but you also get the sense that some serious street justice is about to be meted out and Brisson does a solid job of priming the reader for the action that is sure to come.
Art: Aside from the pointless murders, the art was something that initially bugged me about Bullseye, but has since grown on me after a couple of issues. Guillermo Sanna uses a more simplistic art style for Bullseye and it definitely works. There are times when the facial expressions are simple yet incredibly detailed. The action scenes are carefully constructed so the action is easy to follow and there are a couple of scenes in the second book that go out of their way to show you they can still draw up some pointless violence if the situation demands it.
Verdict: Bullseye is a different type of book and may take some getting used to if you’re not a long-time reader of the Daredevil or Bullseye series’. Brisson and Sanna are getting their feet wet with character development and the turn from villain to anti-hero cannot be forced, it must occur naturally and Brisson seems to understand this. Where the first book was an overload of everything that makes Bullseye who he is, the second book is far more focused on the fleshing out of a narrative readers can get behind and follow. For right now, Bullseye is worth the buy. That could change depending on a number of things, though. It’s really going to be touch and go for the first little while until they establish a groove, which is well within their grasp based on the foundation they’ve already lain. — JW