Currently funding on Kickstarter, the first issue of this horror/action/drama has some epic plans in mind, if the Kickstarter description is anything to go by, but #1 didn’t exactly get my blood pumping and make me overly desperate to read #2. In the grand Hellboy tradition, our cigarette-munching, whiskey-downing hero is a bit of a dick (i.e., a colossal dick), and has the traditionally rough, unflappable attitude when dealing with his enemies, which turn out to be demons from Hell that only he can see. Or so he thinks…
Clocking in at 25 pages long, there isn’t a huge amount of plot to be seen, although lots of characters and plot elements have their conventionally enjoyable set-up that could make future issues a blast. But because of all these introductions, there’s a sense that if this #1 was actually an #0, it might read better.
Nevertheless, there’s just about enough to enjoy in Bullets & Angels: Rosary #1 to justify you moving on to #2. The artwork, particularly that of the demons, is captivatingly Gothic will plenty to admire, and often there’s some creative panel construction, but that in itself arguably gets in the way of the plot, as said creativity with the panels takes up quite a bit of comic page. Perhaps all that space could have been used to give the plot a bit of a shove instead of an admittedly really well pieced together montage sequence, but according to the Kickstarter, we’ll be getting 12 monthly issues at 22 pages each, with each year’s length of issues collected into a volume, and several more volumes in the works. Looks as though I’ll be eating my own words!
The plot of Bullets & Angels: Rosary #1 itself does feel little more than a platform for our demon hunter hero, James “Ace” Hollister to let his ‘f*ck you demons, f*ck you life in general’ personality REALLY get a hold on you, as if his mutton chops, leather biker gloves and trench-coat weren’t enough! Essentially, he bobs around the gloom,y constantly raining Las Vegas at midnight, deciding his life of demon butt-kicking is taking its toll, and leaves Sin City to its own devices. It’s only when another demon fighter, who somehow knows his name, appears on the spot does he seem to rethink his options…
This new hunter, who’s name we’re not treated to yet, plays at the possibilities of some intriguing character arcs for these two, and hopefully we’ll see some genuine villains enter the tale to join them in giving Bullets & Angels a bit of 3D fleshing out. Demons are all well and good, but having them the enemy simply because they’re demons can wear thin on the reader and leave a dull taste in the story’s mouth.
That said, this first issue didn’t bore me at all, even though the overall non-eventfulness did bring the issue down somewhat for me. I am keen to see what becomes of Ace and his possible new companion (bet you a fiver there’s going to be some good ole fashion, smart-mouth bitching between these two), and with several 264-page volumes in the works, I’d also bet we’ve got plenty to look forward to.
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