Bomb Queen #1

By Jimmie Robinson
28 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

There are two kinds of “over-the-top” and it’s important to understand the difference. The first kind is when something is utterly crazy and implausible, but meant to be taken seriously. The creator has no idea that it’s gone off the rails, even as drinking games form around its existence. Then there’s the second kind, where it’s deliberately silly and nuts and the creator is laughing right along with you. That’s the kind I like, and it seems that Jimmie Robinson does too.

Bomb Queen was once one of four super villains that took over New Port City. Now it’s down to just her, and she’s fine with that. Everyone jumps when she says so, or they pay the price. Come to think of it, sometimes you pay the price just by being near Bomb Queen. The city’s fine with it, though, save for Mayoral Candidate Woods. His big push for becoming the new Mayor of New Port City is to find a way to defeat Bomb Queen. But is he playing with the wrong fuse?

Bomb Queen #1 is in many ways a silly, silly book. Fortunately, that seems to be exactly what Robinson wants. Right from the start it’s winking at the readers, putting Bomb Queen on a daytime talk show and referring to the other villains that used to rule New Port City: Ice Queen, Drama Queen, and Scream Queen. It’s a good-natured sense of humor that goes on from there, taking everything wonderfully over the top as Bomb Queen continues to survey the city that she now rules. From her trip to her favorite Chinese restaurant, to an explosive entrance into the Mayor’s office (well, she is called Bomb Queen), nothing’s ever done by halves, always making it as big and loud as possible. For some that’ll definitely be a turn off. Me? I laughed until my stomach hurt.

Robinson’s writing style changes from book to book, but the one constant is his art. As always, Robinson has a keen sense of drawing people. There’s an early scene where Bomb Queen shocks a studio audience into stunned silence until the Applause sign lights up, at which point they all start laughing. The scene is done without sound effects or narration, just relying on a close-up of characters’s eyes and sometimes entire faces. It works perfectly, Robinson able to show the tension and fear in their gazes and the lines on their faces, followed by the sudden release of tension a second later. Even Bomb Queen’s outfit is thought through carefully, looking like an outfit from Christina Aguilera’s early career with thong straps riding up over the low-slung pants and midriff flashing. It fits her character perfectly, saying so much about her attitude towards the rest of the world.

Bomb Queen #1 is almost like a sarcastic version of Empire; by the end of the comic, you’re cheering on the villain, not the heroes. Bomb Queen isn’t someone you’d want to hang out with, she’s certainly not good, and New Port City is hardly a safe haven. She’s got attitude and flair, though, and in the end her antics make you laugh. In short, a success. Bomb Queen is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while; I definitely want to see the explosions continue in future issues.

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