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Book Review < Back

Pistolwhip: The Yellow Menace (vol. 2)

Credits: Written by Jason Hall and Illustrated by Matt Kindt
Publisher: Top Shelf

Commentary

Is Orson Lang a presumed-dead radio actor, famous for voicing the pulp adventures of masked man Jack Peril? Or are Lang and Peril the same man? And either way, is Peril engaged in a subterranean game of murder and mad bombings with his archrival The Yellow Menace? Most importantly, will Mitch Pistolwhip ever get himself some flapjacks?

But back to Orson, for a moment.

Orson.

Orson Lang.

If ever a character's name could betray his birthright, then this bastard son of Herr Fritz and Mister Welles would be he. Deep down in the DNA of the PISTOLWHIP cannon you'll find those two, along with the usual suspects one would expect in the paternal lineage of a vintage crime drama such as this. The family traits are all present - the moody expressionism and the tireless bravado; the subterranean scheming and fanciful take on the hardboiled; there's the moral bankruptcy and the slashes of light. He has his father's cynicism and his mother's heart, by god. PISTOLWHIP is a child of the best in pulp genetics.

THE YELLOW MENACE is the second major outing from Kindt and Hall, the Pistolwhip boys, and it's a blast from start to finish. Their story here weaves together radio serials, pulp fiction, comic books, and a Fredric Wertham-esque anti-comics crusader, and poor old Mitch, who wants his flapjacks like Elliot Gould wants Coury Brand Cat Food. With their own brand of idiosyncratic and anachronistic detective storytelling, Kindt and Hall capitalize on the promise they showed in the first PISTOLWHIP graphic novel by creating something richer, more complex, yet still deceptively simple and innocent. PISTOLWHIP: THE YELLOW MENACE absolutely shines.

-- Matt Fraction

 
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.

 


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