First of all, may I extol the virtues of being regular! For far too long, Stray Bullets has been an irregular treat, something that you would happen upon in the comic shop, that seemed to drop out of the blue after many months going unheard of, like a friend that forgets to return your calls. This new home for Mr. Lapham seems to suit him well, and the stories continue at a pace that could only be described as… well, monthly, and we are all much happier for it!
This series seems to be finding its feet and is a lot more episodic than the earlier incarnation of Stray Bullets. The story has settled on two main characters, one familiar in the form of Virginia and one quite new with her boyfriend Eli. Issue 5 “Call me Gilgamesh” is the first sight of Amy Racecar. She encounters a young man that just happens to be blind as well as not having arms or legs, who has more than a striking resemblance to Eli. He is kept scrubbing floors for his cruel mother with a sponge between his teeth! This issue contains all the typical madness of Amy, and an insight into Virginia’s mind as it is the first time that Amy falls in love!
Issue 6 “99 Percent” is probably the best of the series so far, as Eli visits his Art teacher Michael with the news of his acceptance to College. A clue leads Virginia to suspect that Michael may have been involved in the death of her Cousin, and she turns amateur detective to try and solve the case. The best thing about it is that we are never quite sure if it is all in Virginia’s head, or if she is right about her suspicions. The Stray Bullets stories are often at their best when they are dealing with issues from childhood and this is the case here. Issues 7 and 8 deal with a trip to Baltimore to check out Eli’s new college, and all hell breaks loose when Virginia visits some friends from her past.
The decision to focus on these two characters allows Lapham to develop them, but it does mean the series lacks the free wheeling nature of its previous incarnation. There is still much movement between settings and the odd Amy Racecar issue breaks us from reality. It’s an impressive start, but hasn’t hit the heights of the early days of Stray Bullets as of yet. Regardless it is a very enjoyable read and a real page turner.
Find out more about Stray Bullets Killers here.
Story By: David Lapham
Art By: David Lapham