Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1 kicks off a new six-issue limited run from writer Mark Millar. The series, set to be adapted into a live action Netflix movie next year, follows an interstellar bounty hunter who traverses the galaxy in a beat-up old ice cream truck. Sharkey’s luck turns around, though, when he gets a tip that could bring in the biggest score of his life.
Drawing heavily on genre tropes, this first issue sets up a fun, if not completely unique adventure.
As mentioned, Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1 leans heavily on the hallmarks of the space western. We have the lowlife bounty hunter with a mysterious past, the tag-along kid, the infamous outlaw with a massive price on her head…it’s all here.
Pastiche is good, though, as long as a writer knows how to use the tropes to tell an interesting story. Fortunately, Millar pulls that off nicely. The world building draws on many familiar elements, but still feels fresh, with enough unique weirdness to tie it together.
Not only that, but the book is actually very funny, too. Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1 has multiple laugh-out-loud moments. That said, there is one bit with a cyborg character who muses about being surgically transformed into a military vehicle, which ends up being more awkward than funny.
Character development in this first issue focuses primarily on Sharkey, who is delightful. He’s a jerk with a heart of gold, possessing a ’70-era, Burt Reynolds-esque swagger. Readers will look forward to following his adventure in the next issue.
The art by Simone Bianchi in Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1 is a real treat. His illustrations are alien, yet familiar at the same time, perfectly underscoring the Millar’s storytelling style.
He brings everything to life with incredible detail and dynamic, kinetic character designs. You can read the emotion in characters’ faces, and feel as they grapple over key decisions. You could honestly pull some of these panels out of the book and frame them on your wall.
Bianchi handles color duties, too. His choices are all over the map, underscoring the off-world vibe. However, the colors have similar tones, keeping everything cohesive. It’s a damn impressive display of ability.
Even if you’re not big on the space western genre, Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1 is a home run you won’t want to miss. Highly recommended.