Writer: Mark Millar, Artist/Colorist/Cover: Simone Bianchi, Co-Colorist: Matteo Vattani, Letters: Peter Doherty.
The cover to this month’s issue of Image’s Sharkey The Bounty Hunter caught my eye as a candidate for POP Cover Of The Week. The covers are all beautifully illustrated by Simone Bianchi (Wolverine, Thor) The newest gem from the creative mind of Mark Millar (Kickass, Kingsman: Secret Service, The Authority, Civil War) has already been optioned as a new series on Netflix, So I had to see what all the fuss is about.
Sharkey (a family name) is a former Special Ops soldier, now bounty hunter chasing down criminals with the help of a young sidekick, in a souped-up ice cream truck that would look right at home next to the Space Winnebago in Spaceballs. Sharkey has purple skin, a comb-over, a porn ’stache, and a sheriff’s hat he stole from Carl Grimes. He seems to be a cross between Han Solo and Lobo, a bad boy that all the ladies love but don’t want to take home to Mama.
Sidekick Extra-Billy is around ten years old, has green-hued skin, and guilted Sharkey into taking him home to his nearest relative, since Sharkey arrested the uncle he was living with.
The humor, language, and situations are very adult-oriented, with lots of scenes in cantinas, brothels, and other dubious places. Bianchi shows a vivid imagination, creating all of these alien environments and many unique alien races. His style here reminds me of Frank Cirocco from the classic series Alien Legion, along with a healthy dose of Star Wars. It’ll be interesting to see how faithful Netflix will be with Bianchi’s character designs.
This issue, after escaping more people that want to kill him and then deciding not to collect the bounty on his latest prey, and droping her off at her next destination, Earth, Sharkey then takes Extra-Billy home to his family. But over the course of the 6 issues, Sharkey has become less of a taxi ride home and Billy more like a “cheery apprentice.” Predictably, Billy would rather stay with Sharkey and have adventures. The kid-hating Sharkey pats him on the head, and takes off.
Will Sharkey be happy going solo again, or will the ol’ softy go back and rescue Extra-Billy from a life of child labor?
What do you think?
The entire last page says THE END, and the front cover is designed to mirror/bookend the cover from issue #1, so will there be an issue #7? Or another miniseries? Let’s hope so. I’d love to see more of this fun and imaginative story, especially if Bianchi joins Millar next time around.
Sharkey The Bounty Hunter #6 from Image Comics, on sale October 23, 2019.