A new British adventure anthology is a rarity these days so it's good to see the second issue of Bulletproof finally appear. Issue No.1 came out quite some time ago but the schedule appears to be on track now with No.3 out soon and issue 4 expected in the New Year.
Bulletproof No.2 is once again a chunky squarebound 80 page offering, and at a cover price of just £3.00 is well worth a try. As is often the case with anthologies the contents are a bit hit and miss. However, as some of the creators are relatively new to the industry it's only to be expected. The strength of Bulletproof is that it uses both new creators and established professionals. It's always good to see new talent emerging and it'll be interesting to see them develop. Bulletproof looks like the ideal place for it. The brainchild of professional editor Matt Yeo, the comic has a lot going for it.
The cover and lead strip features mutant hero Marren Kane, written by Dave Hailwood and drawn by Tony Suleri. I felt that the artist's work had more clarity in colour than black and white so I hope future episodes will allow Suleri to do interior colour work too.
Long-time pro Jon Haward illustrates the Sideburns strip, written by Jim Alexander. Haward tries a different approach to his art here (below) than in his Marvel or Classical Comics work and it's very effective. Hopefully we'll see Jon use this style again.
Of the comic's 80 pages, 31 interior pages are in full colour. These include 21 pages of Alan Grant and Alan Burrows' Fun Guys. Grant is of course a seasoned 2000AD and Batman writer and Burrows often illustrates Commando stories for DC Thomson. Readers opposed to computer colouring will be pleased to see that Fun Guys is hand coloured by Burrows. The script is lighthearted and throws up a few fun surprises along the way.
The lighthearted approach is used in some of the other strips too, with varying degrees of success. There is a balance though, with the seriously engaging space adventure Ex Astris by John Freeman and Mike Nicoll. This CGI strip is my personal favourite in the issue. The computer generated art is very professsional and impressive, and John's script is tight and well told. (Readers may also be aware that a different Ex Astris adventure, also by Freeman and Nicoll, has just started running in Spaceship Away, - another UK adventure comic worth your money.)
All in all, Bulletproof is an interesting package and I'm looking forward to future issues. The comic is not available in newsagents but should be on sale in comics speciality shops or you can be sure of your copies by buying them directly from the Bulletproof website here:
Check out the rest of the impressive Bulletproof site for creator profiles, news of future issues, and more: http://www.bulletproofcomics.co.uk/