Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 published this week by Image Comics’ Shadowline imprint under the pen of Jimmie Robinson. Returning in a time when satire is practically a necessity, the titular character wastes no time in making readers laugh at their impending doom.
Bomb Queen follows the titular supervillain, a vile, hedonistic, psychopath with a tactical mind, gadgets, and explosive superpowers. In her initial appearances, she is the despot of New Port City. Under the Queen’s rule serves, the city is a haven for criminals thanks to anti-superhero laws, among other things. Murderers, child molesters, even hate groups that would kill each other if they were anywhere else thrive in New Port. This brings most of the crime to one spot, which ironically benefits the US more than any superhero could.
The series originally begins as a satire of superhero fiction by playing up the absurdities. No matter how sacred or wicked the subject, the Queen would make them all look stupid. Later arcs put a more significant deal of emphasis on political satire; the most infamous is putting then-President Obama through the wringer. Even that’s just icing on the cake when the Queen destroys New Port City to go global. So how does Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 fit in?
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 Expose
Robinson places Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 between the sixth and seventh arcs of the original series. This allows Robinson to pull off a retcon without overwriting anything and utilize his character during her political commentary phase. It’s a smart move that uses in-continuity timing for satire. The lack of criminal haven, New Port City, shoehorns events like school shootings and mass riots to utilize how the Queen’s actions affect her world. Something that only gets touched upon in the original runs.
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 utilizes some exposition for newcomers through characters from previous arcs like White Knight. This can either drive people away or get them intrigued. Because who wants to hear people drone on without any action? But one of the more creative uses of exposition comes in a news report about Bomb Queen running against Trump. In addition to the newspeople making comments, there are complimentary reports in a rolling bar. It details reports like plastic in oceans that are in real news reports and a streaming service about school shootings. Considering the station has the not subtle name of “Fake News Network” (FNN), it says a lot of things. Not how much of this stuff is true, but how much influence the Queen has.
Robinson certainly wastes nothing in all of his creative duties. After this interview, he features a 15-panel page, not unlike a recent issue of Savage Dragon. In it, there is a struggle to find equal footing in opinions on Bomb Queen. Some people hate her guts for personal reasons they wear on their faces, sometimes literally with fantastic detail on scars. The neutral ones look like they don’t have a care in the world despite the news. The ones for her meanwhile either have no idea what they’re getting into (hence blank backgrounds) or give reasons that benefit them personally (with actual backgrounds).
Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 also goes headfirst into superhero action whenever it wants to. Robinson even uses the Queen’s color scheme to demonstrate she’s always the one in control. Like when she quickly knocks the Superman-Esque White Knight to the ground. Despite having a similar white and red coloring, the presence of her skin tone dominates their encounter. That doesn’t seem to bother her or Ramsay as her short brawl with a superhero team that probably parodies a controversial Marvel team attests to. The more dull looking costumes of “Blaque Shade” and “Hashtagger” get decorated with blood and explosions for contrast. Even “Mecha Fetus'” captions in relation to Bomb Queen show a humorous depiction of how boned this “Z-Gen Squad” is by displaying RPG stats. Whether a reader finds any of this funny or horrendous, however, is up to their taste.
Can You Tolerate Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1?
Bomb Queen’s return is undoubtedly aiming back at fans of the older series and for some social commentary to get new ones. The dark humor can be subjective, however, and not everyone will be on board with this series. Yet it’s this self-awareness of superhero fiction and social satire that drives the plot forward in an entertaining way. Once a reader gets past anything they don’t like, such as exposition, they might be able to laugh at the electoral situation close to home rather than despair.
What do you all think? Is Bomb Queen: Trump Card #1 the beginning of a decent Trump Era satire? Or is it just Bad Girl trash?