REVIEW: Bullseye #5 – “I Just Like To See People Suffer”

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Bullseye

BULLSEYE #5
Writer: Ed Brisson
Penciller: Guillermo Sanna
Colorist: Miroslave Mrva
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Rating: M
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 6/7/17

Bullseye

The Colombian Connection arc wraps up and brings to a close the attempt at a Bullseye titular series. The title brought a few good laughs and a ton of action, but ultimately felt like many other arcs featuring a villain for the main character. The writing, art, and wit contained within this Bullseye arc was interesting, but if you were hoping for character growth or any sort of meaningful connection to Bullseye and why you should care about him, then you’re going to come up wanting.  

I enjoyed the story, but felt a tad let down in a few areas. Whether that was because I placed unfair expectations on the series or the writers just didn’t deliver, we’ll honestly never know. Short of them coming out down the line and saying “we missed on Bullseye, there was a lot more we wanted to do and felt the book fell short of those expectations,” it will just be one of those things where the end didn’t sit right with me and I’ll suspect other people loved it.   

Bullseye

Plot: Bullseye has escaped the clutches of Agent Joy Jones and her insane revenge mission due to the arrival of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the scene. Fabian Losani, the son of Raph Losani, an American mobster, has been kidnapped by the Black Knife Cartel’s leader, Teodor. In reality, the kidnapping is a rouse to set up business dealings between Fabian and Teodor, cutting Raph out of the picture. However, Teodor has had a change of plans.

Just as Teodor is about to kill Fabian, Bullseye shows up and finishes him off in a very clever way. He throws a knife at an oncoming car firing automatic ammunition. A well-placed throw by Bullseye takes care of the driver, who flips the car and lands on top of Teodor, ending any stake he had in the Black Knife Cartel.

Story: Ed Brisson got to the heart of what makes Bullseye, Bullseye. It takes a true sociopath to become a freelance killer for hire and buried deep within that sociopathic nature is an element of schadenfreude. For Bullseye, the joy he gets out of watching people suffer is only second to Carnage in the Marvel Universe, in my opinion. Brisson tapped into this personality trait in a deep and insightful way. Regardless of what I may have felt about the overall story, Brisson spun a masterpiece of psychological mayhem.

Bullseye

It can’t be easy to write stories like this. Bullseye, as a character, is everything most humans aren’t. Where our first nature is to nurture, his is create havoc and chaos. The void in his soul isn’t something a lot of people can relate to on a deep and personal level. The average comic reader likely hasn’t thought about killing a mob boss just he can watch the son run for his life and likely die trying. It’s easy to understand characters like Ultron or Magneto; one has a prime directive the other was forged in the concentration camps during Nazi Germany. Bullseye, plain and simple, loves to kill and he loves to see the suffering it causes. Look no further than the conversation he has with Agent Jones about her husband, who Bullseye killed when he brought an entire building down to kill a witness. I can try a thousand times, but I’ll never understand those who derive joy from pain of this magnitude.     

Art: Guillermo Sanna did his finest work with this story. Not only did he handle the action scenes spectacularly, but he also handled the emotional scenes with equal care and consideration. The looks of pain and anger on Agent Jones’ face conveyed a feeling that readers have had a thousand times over in the wake of recent, real terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. As some of this series picks up where Civil War II left off, there are still a number of unresolved issues and one of them happens to be Agent Jones tracking down the man who took her husband’s life for simply doing his job.

Bullseye

How Sanna and Miroslave Mrva were able to draw these characters in a way that portrayed real pain is a testament to just how much they love their craft. In some case, you truly didn’t need dialogue to figure out what was going on, such was their detailing of emotive scenes and segments. There was a part of me that just died inside when Bullseye looked at Agent Jones and mocked her husband’s death, Mrva and Sanna were able to capture that and translate it to a look on her face that spoke about a hundred thousand words. This book was their finest effort on the artistic front and they should be commended for their ability to translate that much pain into art. Maybe they were drawing on personal experience, who knows, I just know it was that good.

Verdict: Bullseye had its failures and it had its successes throughout the entire arc. That’s pretty much the cut of any comic’s jib. Where I initially felt like this book was a little too sociopathic for my personal taste, I realize through writing out this review that some characters are just born that way. There are some people who are just inherently evil. The impact those people have on their victims can be far-reaching, diverse, and hit you on so many different fronts. Agent Jones may come across like a crazed agent, but how would you react if your husband was murdered because a man brought down a building to kill one person? Bullseye brought down a building just to kill a witness and Agent Jones has to live with it for the rest of her life.

There are so many different ways you could apply this story to the real world and what’s going on around us. Maybe I’m just reading too deeply into a comic about a character who loves to kill people, but there were some real points being driven home here and one of those points was knowing that there are people walking among us who truly do not care about the wellbeing of anyone and would happily harm them for a fee. Anyhow, this entire arc was worth my time. I am glad that I read Bullseye and I will say that I think it played out much better as a one-off rather than a continuing series.  — JW

4.5 out of 5 Stars!

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