Written by Ed Brisson and Marv Wolfman
Art by Guillermo Sanna, Miroslav Mrva, Alec Morgan and Frank Martin
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10
One of Marvel's most lethal assassins finally gets his due as Bullseye #1 hits the stands. Written by Ed Brisson and with artwork by Guillermo Sanna and Miroslav Mrva, Bullseye #1 sets the stage for the supervillain to go on his own adventure. However, a story filled with tropes may hold him back more than Daredevil ever did.
Bullseye #1 begins with a bang as the titular rogue completes a mission. Guillermo Sanna’s artwork throughout the issue is fantastic, but it shines especially in the opening pages as Bullseye uses a combination of stealth and everyday objects to complete his mission. Sanna’s rough lines and heavy use of blacks gives the comic a film-noir quality, but it also evokes a slasher film (a silhouetted Bullseye, hands full of blades, can’t help but look like Freddy Krueger). Miroslav Mrva’s colors also tell the story - oranges and yellows evoke the sense of fear rushing through the veins of Bullseye’s targets. Writer Ed Brisson’s dialogue perfectly captures Bullseye’s crazed sadism.
Unfortunately, the story here is a bit lackluster. Bullseye is hired by an up-and-coming middleman who is filling in the void left by Kingpin’s move to San Francisco. The middleman’s son has been kidnapped and Bullseye is hired to retrieve him. Due to his earlier actions, an FBI agent is tracking him down. None of this feels particularly inventive, and Bullseye’s upcoming target doesn’t display any talents that would make him a particular challenge for the assassin. The scenes of Bullseye’s reckless carnage are fun, but without any hint as to a potential punishment, they’re lacking in tension.
The short story, “If I Tell You…,” doesn’t fair particularly well either. While it’s nice to see co-creator Marv Wolfman return to the character, the story here doesn’t supplement the main issue particularly well. While other Marvel books have used their back-up to highlight other characters (Black Panther: World of Wakanda), or provide some action when the main story was more character-focused (Ghost Rider), Bullseye gives a story that has nearly the same purpose – showing that Bullseye likes to make things hard for himself.
The artwork, once again, is great. Alec Morgan’s linework is clean, providing a nice visual contrast with Guillermo Sanna’s edgier work. Morgan doesn’t use blacks in the same way that Sanna does, giving the work a more action-based feel that works well with the backup’s opening. The lack of heavy blacks also allow colorist Frank Martin to provide the tonal shifts in the story; red washes highlight the extremes of the violence presented here.
All told, Bullseye #1 is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a lot to like between the artwork by Sanna and Mrva, Bullseye’s sadism, and Brisson’s dialogue. But the story being told here doesn’t do anything to stand out from the pack. The backup story feels like a missed opportunity to do something new with the character. For fans of the lethal supervillain, this issue may give them what they’re looking for, but Bullseye #1 doesn’t give readers much of a reason to return.