Valiant Entertainment 2019
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Adam Gorham
Coloured by Jose Villarrubia
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
From writer Cullen Bunn (Venom) and artist Adam Gorham (New Mutants: Dead Souls) comes this hilariously horrifying tale. Punk Mambo is a hard-living voodoo priestess who grew up in London, then relocated to Louisiana’s Bayou Country. Now, she's a mystical mercenary for hire. In her first-ever solo series, Punk Mambo investigates a series of abductions in the New Orleans gutter punk scene, stumbling upon a deadlier mystery that takes her to the haunted shores of Haiti.
I have been looking forward to this since she was first introduced and every subsequent appearance thereafter. I mean c’mon anyone who hang with my boy Ninjak deserves the spotlight as well. So finally we get to see and learn more about this woman and there’s no one better than Cullen to bring us her story. Seriously no one better, Cullen has his magical ability to write any character in any genre, in any setting imaginable but I love his dark side. When he gets a chance to unleash the darkness I get chills up my spine and I crave more of what it. So here we are (face to face a couple of silver spoons, trying to find we’re two of a kind).
The opening is everything I could have hoped for and so much more. Getting to see the side of New Orleans that even the locals avoid is definitely an area on the map I want to visit. Who wouldn’t want to go where the monsters dwell? From the looks of things there is a definite reason for the avoidance of this area though for how much longer remains to be seen. Not so ironically we’ll see what fills the void left behind now, hopefully.
I am very much enjoying the way that this book is structured. That one moment in time (when I’m more that I thought I could be) that changes everything is one of the most unusual things I have ever seen. I like the implications and ramifications of that event but I’ll god-damned if that didn’t freak me out, made me wonder and left me in awe all in the same moment. Pardon my French but shit just got real. For all the action that we see the story and characterisation are a constant throughout the entire book. It is amazing to me how Cullen can infuse everything into everything and make it seem like it’s nothing more than the air you breathe.
Oh Sweet Son of a Preacher Man are the interiors here utterly sinful. Sinfully good that is. The linework is freaking gorgeous and how Adam is able to utilise the varying weights so that from the boldest of the bold to the softest and most delicate lines can be utilised in this level of attention to detail that we see here. On top of that the creativity and imagination on display is mindbogglingly good. I will say I am a tad disappointed that the naked isn’t fully if you get the drift because well not only curious minds but it would’ve felt more natural to the scenes. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this strong and talented eye for storytelling. I want to see backgrounds utilised more, specially in that first encounter with Marie. The colour work here is just as gorgeous. The colour gradation and shades of purple in the hair alone was magnificent. Put the pop in the Loa or the magic itself is spectacular and the way light sources are utilised to show shadows, shading and et al works perfectly for me.
Diving into the world of Voodoo and Punk Mambo’s extended life, on her own with the promise that is made within these pages have made this as electric as can be. While I’m not the one who’s so far away, when I feel the snake bite enter my veins, can you say the same?