Review: Punk Mambo #3

Punk Mambo wants revenge. Best of luck to anyone standing in her way.

For some reason, I’m sure it’s a coincidence, I’ve been listening to Bad Religion, Black Flag and other punk bands. The raw yet refined nature of their anger mixed with strangely infectious tunes springs to mind as I read this comic. I love bands that you really can’t hum along to, so my definition of an infectious tune will differ. It’s the raw and refined anger of punk music that Cullen Bunn captures so well within these pages.

Punk Mambo’s willingness and comfort doing her own thing when facing down a powerful enemy is a great example of her mentality. Just because people think you should do a thing, doesn’t mean you should. Especially if you don’t give a shit what they think.

This issue shows us the mental toughness of the character as she faces a brutal trial by combat after wandering through a muted effervescent factory floor filled with mystics. It’s a scene the showcases Adam Gorham‘s grasp of visual presentation. His use of two double page spreads one after the other serve as the visual focal point of the comic. That’s bookended by some interesting use of perspective with the panel and grid layouts. That highlights the descent into the supernatural verses. The more structured pages earlier in the comic where the story focuses on more real-world concerns.

Beyond Bunn’s grasp of the character’s nature, and his ability to weaves that into a compelling tale about the structure of voodoo and the mystic arts, we’re treated to an exciting visual masterpiece from Adam Gorham and colorist Jose Villarrubia. It’s the perfect representation of the story in your hands. It’s a gritty, yet odd enticing tale that makes for a brilliant comic book.

Punk Mambo #3 is the middle part of a series that, right at the halfway point has fallen into my Must Read pile with a screaming guitar and some pounding drums. I don’t know what I expected from a Valiant series focused on the publisher’s unconventional Voodoo practitioner. It sure as hell wasn’t a tale that pulled me in so completely.

I’m not normally a fan of magic based stories unless there’s a healthy dose of sword with my sorcery, but there’s something about this character, and this comic, that just has me excited. Punk Mambo has that X factor that so many comics just fall short of, and it is glorious. For a great comic, and a series that may be read through independently of any of her previous appearances. Punk Mambo #3 is easily one of the best comics I’ve read this month – don’t miss this book.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Adam Gorham
Colours: Jose Villarrubia Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review