cover image Bad Karma

Bad Karma

Alex De Campi and Ryan Howe. Image, $29.99 (312p) ISBN 978-1-5343-9936-5

A pair of hard-boiled ex-soldiers join forces to fix a deadly mistake in this pitch-black, comedy-laced thriller from De Campi (Parasocial) and Howe (Daisy Blackwood). Ethan and Sully have a history together as mercenaries for a Blackwater-like military contractor. Ethan is now physically disabled, and Sully relies on medication to control his mental health problems . When they learn that an innocent Black man is about to be executed for an assassination they committed, the two endeavor to make amends. Together with Ethan’s wife, Cheryl, who has years of exasperation as a military spouse to work out, they set out on a Christmas mission to break the man out of Death Row. “I can’t fix myself,” Ethan reasons. “But I can fix this.” The plot by De Campi is gleeful pulp, complete with a climactic showdown worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, but beneath the car chases and explosions lies a deeper, darker exploration of people broken by the military-industrial complex trying to piece themselves back together. Howe has a knack for capturing the body language of old friends, and his clean, firm inks and simple yet dynamic page layouts, with bold coloring by Dee Cuniffe, move the action along at full speed. De Campi is emerging as a top-notch writer of non-superhero action comics, with a gift for collaboration. This outing will thrill fans of the genre. (Nov.)