Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"Maybe he went to make sure they leave you alone."
"Maybe he went there to kill them!
"I don't think he went there to kill them."
"Like your idea makes so much more sense."
"It does, actually."
Given this conversation is taking place between Lance Cardinal Death - "a war priest cursed to fight for all of time by Mister Satan" - and Bae K'Won - "the last warrior of his planet for peace, lost in timespace" - whilst Franky Barbarian - "ruler of the bravest gang in Neo-Chernobyl" - and M.A.D.A.M. Destructrix 7 - "a lady robot built to make all humans die" - help deal with the horde of zombie brownshirts causing havoc in the city centre, you could be forgiven for not realising it is actually about precisely why Paige's dad went of his own volition to have a seemingly civilised conversation in a diner with four bank robbers, fresh out of jail after long stretches, who recently turned up menacingly at their door before being warned off at gunpoint.
When the penny finally drops with Paige, that in fact these are old mates of her dad, who did him a major solid by keeping him out of jail years ago so he could single-handedly raise her, and now they have come to collect by enlisting him for one last big get-out score, she decides to take the only sensible course of action possible to stop him. By robbing the bank first...
So all she needs to do is organise her own very motley crew of kids into a well-drilled heist team, plus keep the not-so-bad guys at bay with a crazy selection of diversionary tactics. Oh, did I forget to mention her uncle is a cop? A very good detective as it happens... Fortunately her friends, after some relentless one-girl peer-group pressuring, decide they are up to the challenge, and what ensues is one of the most hilariously catastrophic crime capers I've read in years. Strategy sessions frequently take place during online gaming sessions such as the one above as they try and play out various scenarios through the medium of their favourite video games.
Stylistically and also in terms of the sheer madcap feel of it all, this strongly reminded me of Matt Fraction's HAWKEYE, possibly not least because the not-so-bad guys made me think of the endless, calamitously incompetent "Bro"s which Clint had to continually contend with. There's always that sense of not when is it going to go wrong, just how horrifically bad is it going to be?! The art itself has a wonderful slapstick sense of nonsensical fun combined with a colour palette that somehow manages the neat trick of being both simultaneously subdued and garishly lurid.
So... will Paige and her chums pull off their fantastical felony and ensue a happy ending for all concerned? Well, surely there was one thing that was drilled into most of us as kids (well, those that didn't have a bank robber for a parent) that is about as universal a truth as there is: crime does not pay!
Crime comics on the other hand... KERCHING!