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Deadshot: Bulletproof & Invincible, Vol. 1: Family Matters

Deadshot: Bulletproof

By Christos N. Gage (Author), Steve Cummings, Jimmy Palmiotti and Phil Winslade (Illustrators) D.C. Comics (Publisher)

It’s a thin line between villainy and heroism, and Deadshot: Bulletproof walks that razor’s edge with a blend of sharp art, an edgy plot and dark wit. When is a villain actually a hero? Floyd Lawton’s answer to the question is simple: Who gives a sh--, as long as you’ve got enough bullets to protect what’s yours? The Suicide Squad mainstay’s past comes back to inspire him when he discovers that he has a daughter. After meeting her, he is surprised by a sense of love, of family, that he’d only experienced while his son was alive. Given his son’s tragic death, Lawton is driven to make certain that the neighborhood in which his daughter and her mother lives will be safe. But with three rival crime syndicates operating in the region, that goal won’t be easy to achieve. Lawton’s answer? More bullets downrange. The art team pulls off a palette of gritty realism that perfectly complements the plot. The story will appeal to the blood-and-bullets crowd, while tugging at the heartstrings as we see inside Lawton’s motivations. With Deadshot, the line between heroism and villainy is blurred—you can’t drop him inside such a neat little box. Instead, we see why Deadshot is such a beloved character, full of rich contradictions that make him as real as any person you might know (well, assuming they’re heavily armed and deadly enough to take down a small country, anyway...). This storyline acts as a turning point in Deadshot’s history, giving rise to the loyal, dependable and faintly sociopathic killer that fans of the Suicide Squad and Secret Six (pre-New 52) know and love.

Invincible, Vol. 1: Family Matters

By Robert Kirkman (Author), Cory Walker (Artist) Image Comics (Publisher)

Chances are, you’ve experienced Robert Kirkman’s work (The Walking Dead, Ultimate X-Men, Marvel Zombies). But when Kirkman wasn’t making one of the most badass zombie apocalypses so far, he was writing about a quirky superhero teenager. Meet Mark Grayson, a teenage boy with a life as normal you can expect with a human mother and an alien superhero father…until he inherits his own superpowers. Invincible stands out due to its interpretation of someone knowingly living their life close to somebody that is always out fighting Lord-knows-what. Mark’s mother is a very realistic woman who has to deal with the possibility of her husband dying every day. Mark’s father is there for him to help him understand how to use his new abilities, like a father would help his son transition into manhood. There is definitely a family theme not-so-subtly hidden underneath all the superpowers, fights, and alien attacks, highlighted by Cory Walker’s use of bright colors, which isn’t something commonly seen in superhero stories nowadays. The entire graphic novel, down to the cover art, is done in a cartoonish style which manages to make any average statement hilarious when put in the right context, while also being just realistic enough that when someone gets down to business, they’re getting down to business. When reading, it’s a joyride that you can’t get off because you have no freaking clue what else is going to be thrown at you, whether it involves Mark taking on a bomber or trying to figure out whether a girl likes him. And I promise you: you’ll be laughing your butt off once you hit that last page.

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