Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #3 from Image Comics hit store shelves this week and is the third installment of a six-issue limited series created by legendary writer Mark Millar with artwork by Simone Bianchi.
When last we saw these two unlikely partners, Extra-Billy was ordered to wait aboard the Snow Cone while Sharkey went off to track Edra Deering on the retail facility of Infinitus. Out of nowhere Deering steps out from the shadows behind Sharkey, putting her gun to the back of his head. Introductions are made in an exchange of some rather colorful dialogue as Sharkey leaps into action, making short work of one of the henchman before being overtaken by Deering and the rest of her crew. Once again Sharkey finds himself on the wrong end of Edra Deering’s blaster, as a gang of bounty hunters, led by a woman from Sharky’s past by the name of Juda Cade, storm into the room in a blaze of laser fire, killing the rest of Deering’s crew and saving the blue bounty hunter in the process. Sharkey and Juda try to take Deering down, but her experience and advanced weaponry turn out to be more than a match for the two bounty hunters. Deering calls for backup which arrives moments later in the form of a spacecraft. She makes a hasty retreat but not before Sharkey places a tracking device on her.
Sharkey and Juda are arrested shortly after the battle by the Star Patrol and taken into custody for violating the bounty hunting ban. Extra-Billy arrives a little while later, crashing the Snow-Cone through the walls of the detention area, freeing the two captive bounty hunters. They flee the area in the ship then plunges them down under the surface to hide from the Star Patrol until things cool off on the surface. The issue ends with the three fugitives deciding to team up and split the bounty as they take off in the Snow-Cone to resume the hunt, Edra Deering.
The writing on this issue is nothing short of superb. Mark Millar proves once again why he is truly one of the great masters of modern comic book storytelling. The characters in this series are written with such depth, color, and complexity. They are flawed and crass, yet at times can be very lovable, charming, and downright hilarious. In this third issue, Millar really opens up the story even more with the introduction of the deadly and foul-mouthed granny assassin Edra Deering. Not only does Sharkey meet his match in profanity-laden one-liners, Millar also shows us exactly why Deering is regarded as the deadliest woman in the galaxy with her experience and skills in combat and her combat implants. The action scenes as Sharkey and Juda Cade pursue Edra Deering throughout the mall as she makes her escape are insanely intense. The introduction of Judah Cade is another wonderful addition to the story, giving insight into Sharkey’s past life before becoming a bounty hunter. Even Extra-Billy has a moment to shine in a hilarious scene as he accidentally crashes into the cafeteria section of the facility having mistaken it for the detention area. Millar shows us that there is more to this young boy than meets the eye, and there is even a heartwarming moment towards the end when Extra-Billy receives acknowledgment and praise from Sharkey for his flying skills during the rescue.
Simone Bianchi’s artwork on this issue is vibrantly beautiful and breathtaking. There is such a depth to the detail that makes the story come to life with its intense action sequences and bright, beautiful coloring. Bianchi also does a wonderful job conveying the thoughts and emotions of the characters through his use of facial expressions and body language. This brilliantly conveys the story’s heart and soul without the use of a single word of dialogue. Where Millar has crafted a fantastically bizarre futuristic world full of unique and interesting characters, Bianchi does an equally brilliant job of enhancing and expanding upon that world through his use of visual narrative.
Overall this is an amazing issue that really amps this series up both in its story and its character development. Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #3 is a must-have for any Mark Millar fan or anyone who enjoys fantastical science fiction stories full of action, edge, and heart. If the live-action feature film of this series that is currently in the works for Netflix is even half as funny, visual, and intense as this six-part comic book series is, then we are all in for a wild, side-splitting ride full of insane adventures and hilarious one-liners.