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Preview: Kim & Kim, Vol 2: Love Is A Battlefield

Kim & Kim Vol. 2: Love Is A Battlefield

Written by: Magdalene Visaggio
Art by: Eva Cabrera
Colored by: Claudia Aguirre
Edited by: Katy Rex
Lettered by: Zakk Saam
Cover by: Tess Fowler
Cover colored by: Matt Wilson

The Fighting Kims finally get the bounty of their lives and Kim D reconnects with an ex-girlfriend, so of course everything immediately goes catastrophically wrong. This high-flying, rad af tale of exes and woes is the first in a four-part follow-up to 2016’s Eisner-nominated favorite. Awesome. Collects issues 1-4.

Review: Kim and Kim Love is A Battlefield #4

Kim and Kim Love is A Battlefield sadly reaches its conclusion in this issue as Kim Q and Kim D fly part of a broken mecha thing into a giant ship and fight Kim D’s very evil ex Laz so they can get a $250,000 bounty, get Kim and Kim LLC back on track, and maybe turn their regular cat into a talking cat. Artist Eva Cabrera plays with a tight grid for some of her fight scenes and captures the feel of kicking, punching, shooting, and bass swinging inside the close quarters of a spaceship while going full romance comic when Kim D has two different heart to hearts with Kim Q and Laz. Writer Mags Visaggio continues to bring the snappy dialogue and gives a satisfying end (and possible new beginning) to the Kims’ personal arcs, and colorist Claudia Aguirre uses plenty of pink and yellow

After Kim and Kim Love is a Battlefield #4’s one page cold open that kind of encapsulates what went wrong in Kim D and Laz’s relationship, Visaggio, Cabrera, and Aguirre deliver on the spaceship flying, boarding, and slaying buddy team-up that George Lucas wishes he could have pulled off in Revenge of the Sith. It’s not as Gundam Wing as last issue’s set-piece, but Cabrera gets a space marine with the Kims’ cute as hell spaceships and even dedicates an entire panel to Kim Q’s bass with not a dialogue/caption box or human being in sight. Unlike the previous issue, Kim Q and Kim D work in tandem and make short work of Laz’s goons with plenty of hilarious reaction shots from aforementioned goons to show that they have no chance against the fighting Kims.

Even though it’s a kick-ass, gun toting space bounty hunter jamboree, I love how Visaggio and Cabrera slow down and get real about relationships of all sorts towards the end of Kim and Kim #4. Obviously, Kim D gets to beat the crap out of Laz in a mostly silent, powerful series of panels while confronting her for using her over the course of their relationship and even after in the early issues of Love is a Battlefield. But Visaggio also lets Laz speak up for herself and talk about how difficult it was to be in a relationship with such driven, gung-ho person. With the exception of an opening bass bash, the scene between Kim D and Laz is just them with Cabrera turning on the waterworks and then zooming for one last punch that is more for catharsis than badass style. In addition to this relationship, Visaggio, Cabrera, and Aguirre also check in on Kim Q and Saar, who downgrade from friends with benefits to just friends with mixed results as Saar goes in for the kiss. And Kim Q calls him out for this while speeding away on her motorcycle, and their conversation shows the messiness of mixing sexy things and friendship.

But, of course, Love is a Battlefield #4 always comes back to the friendship between Kim Q and Kim D. There’s the obvious action team-ups and fast paced conversation (I swear Mags Visaggio’s dialogue increases in fun and quip volume when they chat.), but god, I would love to have someone look at me the same way Kim Q looks at Kim D and vice versa. For example, Eva Cabrera cuts to Kim Q saying “Hot” when she watches Kim D attacking Laz, and there’s an earlier scene where Kim D goes into “mom mode” and makes Kim Q stop pretending she’s in a horror flick so they can coordinate an attack on Laz’s ship. This filled with silliness, yet emotionally resonant bond between them along with all well-choreographed hand to hand combat and well-developed secondary relationships with characters like Kathleen, Saar, and of course, Laz is what makes Kim and Kim Love is a Battlefield an enjoyable read.

The final issue of Kim and Kim Love is Battlefield concludes with an empowering and optimistic essay by Sam Riedel where she asks, “What is the story of your future?” And Mags Visaggio, Eva Cabrera, and Claudia Aguirre end the miniseries on an up note with the Kims finally starting to realize their potential as human beings, friends, and even bounty hunters. It’s been a rough journey of violence, emotional baggage, and some pretty rad vehicular warfare, but Kim Q and Kim D come out on top as the flawed, funny, and kick ass queer heroes that I wish I could see more of in pop culture.

Story: Mags Visaggio Art: Eva Cabrera Colors: Claudia Aguirre
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Kim and Kim: Love is A Battlefield #3

Kim and  Kim: Love is a Battlefield #3 combines all the epic insanity of that great sci-fi anime you stayed up all night watching on Toonami with relatable, real life stuff like shirking responsibilities and staying up all night with someone who is hot, but not good for you. And going to all night diners. Also, there’s a mecha and a really cool bounty hunter ship plus Kim Q beats up and electrocutes some random vest wearing with a bass on the first page. On that page, artist Eva Cabrera and colorist Claudia Aguirre give us some of the best lightning-inflected bass lines this side of Cliff Burton’s early Metallica work.

Storywise, writer Mags Visaggio plays with a structure a little bit splitting up the Kim’s for most of the issue and having them “work out” their issues with other supporting characters before reuniting them in a cathartic, crowd pleasing way towards the end of the issue She also raises Laz’s status as the series’ Big Bad connecting her to the larger universe of Kim and Kim (And a terrorist organization called Adversary.) while not neglecting the core friendship at the center of the comic. Visaggio writes heat of action banter really well, like when Kim Q calls the Adversary’s goons “koopa troppas”, but she can also serve up some emotional rawness like when Kim Q tells her boy toy/action sidekick that she is just doing the whole sex and violence thing to take her mind off Kim D being hung up on her toxic ex. (“Hate fuck” is a key clue.) Kim D also has a conversation with future mercenary queen, Kathleen, about her emotional issues with Kim Q on the backburner and focusing on taking down a dangerous terrorist and making a little scratch along the way. However, when you really care for and love someone, a little thing like a terror syndicate gets put on the backburner.

One of my favorite things about Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield #3 is that the action flows out of character. Kim Q wants to forget about her troubles so she and Saar decide to kick all of the collective asses even if that means attacking a terrorist group with a bass guitar just because they have a cool mecha. From the beginning, Visaggio, Cabrera, and Aguirre show the glee that Kim Q takes in the art of battle from her electrifying her bass guitar like it’s Frankenstein’s Monster and she’s a mad scientist to singing West Side Story lyrics while knocking heads. Every kick, punch, or swing of her bass helps her feel less of the pain of her separation from Kim Q. And, of course, she ends up fighting Kim D as Kim Q and Saar’s mecha comes into conflict with Kathleen and Kim D’s tricked out mercenary ship. On the outside, it’s the Pacific Rim/Cowboy Bebop crossover you’ve always dreamed about, but it’s really Kim D and Kim Q working out their issues via rad vehicles and weapons. Also, the faces that Cabrera makes Kim Q pull while she’s trying to drive Adversary’s mecha are seriously hilarious. There’s no instruction manual for this kind of thing.

Rad action, check. Funny one-liners from Mags Visaggio, cool fashion choices (Especially in the sunglasses department) from Eva Cabrera, and a pleasing color palette from Claudia Aguirre, check. Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield #3 expertly melds entertainment with emotional honesty, and I can’t wait for the miniseries finale and for Kim Q and Kim D to do their team up against a super evil ex girlfriend thing and maybe find a little closure along the way.

Story: Mags Visaggio Art: Eva Cabrera Colors: Claudia Aguirre
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Kim & Kim: Love is a Battlefield #2

KIM & KIM: LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD #2

Written by: Magdalene Visaggio
Illustrated by: Eva Cabrera
Colored by: Claudia Aguirre
Lettered by: Zakk Saam
Cover by: Tess Fowler
Cover Colored by: Matt Wilson

The Fighting Kims are broke and stranded. So what do they do about it? The answer, as usual, is “nothing helpful.” Featuring a journey into the afterlife and an action scene in a fruit stand and also some legit relationship stuff. And now it’s an Eisner-nominated series!

Review: Kim and Kim: Love is A Battlefield #1

KimandKimCoverThe most punk rock, queer girl bounty hunters are back with vengeance and a side of feels in Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield #1. A simple bounty with a big payout goes bad when Kim D’s ex, Laz (Who is the worst ever.) happens to live on the same planet where they’re collecting the bounty. Kim Q also runs into Saar, who worked for her evil dad, Furious, back in Kim and Kim. Punches are thrown, drinks thrown down, and there are bad decisions all around in a hell of a first issue from the Eisner nominated team of writer Mags Visaggio, artist Eva Cabrera, and colorist Claudia Aguirre.

Love is a Battlefield #1 has great banter, action, and definitely got a glow-up in the fashion and hairstyle department. However, what makes this best issue of Kim and Kim yet is the sharp focus of Visaggio’s script. She kicks it Aristotle’s dramatic unities style, and the issue only takes place on the party planet/artificial island of Kinna over a single crazy night with a tight knit cast of the Kims, Laz, and Saar for a little bit. The strong, linear plot allows Visaggio, Cabrera, and Aguirre to zero in on the relationship between the Kims and also Kim D and Laz.

Love is a Battlefield a sci-fi story where rhino holograms and shooting blue space goo at your partner in crime is a normal occurrence. It’s also filled with relatable moments like loving your friend, but hating their bad decisions as seen in Kim D’s narration when Kim Q rushes their bounty, Symanski, and hits him with her bass instead of letting Kim D snipe him. This continues when Kim D almost gets back with her ex, Lax, who really just wants to steal their bounty, which has to be verified with a vial of his blood. Visaggio and Cabrera play the scene like two exes reconnecting complete with KimandKimINteriorred hearts from Aguirre, and they make small talk about their employment and joke about an old TV show they watched. But then it’s all gun toting, wrestling, and getting screwed over.

Kim Q and Kim D’s dynamic is personally strengthened by the comfort and comedy they bring to each other when having ex drama. Kim Q stutters and slurs her dialogue when Kim D catches her in the bathroom with Saar awkwardly adjusting her top, but Kim D is supportive and orders a round of drinks. Likewise, Kim Q is there to poke all kind of holes in the non-existent ship that is Kim D and Laz with non-stop snarky comments about Laz and her utter terribleness and nesting behavior. This support increases when basically everything hits the fan towards the end of Love is a Battlefield #1 and is symbolized by Cabrera’s simple panel of Kim and Kim holding hands. The issue definitely has a down ending, but Kim Q and Kim D are still together and ready to kick ass and eat terrible noodles.

Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aguirre bring a slick, fun, yet detailed art style and color palette to Love is a Battlefield #1. Aguirre’s pulsating color palette and the deep red of Kim Q’s new shades definitely get the party started. They kill at the club scene perfectly melding dance moves with some crucial worldbuilding from Mags Visaggio. Kim Q and Kim D’s actions at the club on Kinna also reveal their characters with Kim Q being the life of the party and doing shots while Kim D chills out with her self-titled snapback pulled down low. (It gets used as a coaster in one of the funnier visual jokes of the comic.) And when the firing starts, Cabera uses a tight six panel grid for confrontations between characters and firearms and then opens up the page when a chase begins. You won’t miss a single punch or sniper shot thanks to Cabrera’s clean inking and Aguirre’s colors that are bright, but not nauseating.

What made Kim and Kim such an endearing and enduring series was the fantastic personalities of Kim Q and Kim D and the bond they shared through their picaresque adventures. Mags Visaggio, Eva Cabrera, and Claudia Aguirre triple down on this in Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield #1 while adding layers to Kim D’s backstory and tension to the plot through the introduction of her ex Laz.

This comic is the epitome of radness, and there’s a bonus essay from Elle Collins in the back about how LGBTQ characters are paired off in fiction and not given as complex interpersonal and romantic relationships with other queer people. That’s obviously not the case in Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield.

Story: Mags Visaggio Art: Eva Cabrera Colors: Claudia Aguirre
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Kim & Kim: Love is a Battlefield #1

KIM & KIM: Love Is A Battlefield #1

Written by: Magdalene Visaggio
Illustrated by: Eva Cabrera
Colored by: Claudia Aguirre
Lettered by: Zakk Saam
Cover by: Tess Fowler
Cover Colored by: Matt Wilson

The Fighting Kims finally get the bounty of their lives and Kim D reconnects with an ex-girlfriend, so of course everything immediately goes catastrophically wrong. This high-flying, rad AF tale of exes and woes is the first in a four-part follow-up to 2016’s Eisner-nominated summer favorite. Awesome!