Does it matter who killed Kennedy? Probably not. It's been said a million times before, but the allure of John F. Kennedy's assassination functions not so much as a whodunit - although there's certainly fertile ground to explore there - but a whydunit. Why would someone, anyone, want to kill our Handsome Prince President? Why would someone want to bring Camelot to its knees? Why would someone want to kill the American Dream?
Well you can cut all that romantic bullshit noise right now, because Grant and Giarrano's BADLANDS doesn't really care who killed Kennedy either. It's the story of a loser con named Connie Bremen, fresh out on the streets after a jail stint, trying to walk the straight and narrow. He doesn't do it well and quickly finds himself an embroiled pawn in a game too big and too mean for poor old dumb Connie to figure out. He's one part victim and one part thug, manipulated by rich and powerful men down a doomed little path to a sucker's destiny. And along the way he's got a hot date on a grassy knoll.
BADLANDS succeeds as a bleak little slice of Americana because it shows America at its tragic worst: a little stupid, a little vicious, a little clever, a little over-sexed, and a little too self-important for its own good.
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.