Trimming the Collection: Bulletproof Monk

The credits on this book are very bizarre. Produced and conceived by Michael Yanover and Mark Paniccia (who are both publishers, and President and Editor-in-Chief, respectively, of Flypaper Press). Written by Brett Lewis & R.A. Jones in various proportions, but based on characters created by Brett Lewis. Story edited by Gotham Chopra, which is perhaps the weirdest credit of all. It all sounds like comics done as a film, with the production company coming up with the idea, hiring people to make it, and having the ‘story editor’ to do the day-to-day production. Which makes for a bit of a mess of a comic.

The name and concept is pretty cool: Bulletproof Monk sounds great, and the idea of him fighting the Nazis in Tibet is a lot of fun. However, that’s about it. The story is, if I may keep up the film production analogy, an executive mixing kung fu and Joseph Campbell’s work on mythology, as Kar becomes the one, the bulletproof monk. It takes him three issues to do this, after falling for a girl who becomes leader of the Chinese gang he falls in with in San Francisco. Optimistically, they end the third issue with ‘The Beginning’.

The art is good, as Mike Avon Oeming provides his cool and kinetic pencils to elevate the story, but the text boxes and dialogue are sometimes torturous to read, and is dull and annoying when it just tries to be poetic. Kar decides to do things because the plot calls for it, as do many of the characters in the book, and you’re left wondering why it was picked up to become a movie in the first place, even if the movie was an unbelievably diabolical stinker that did the impossible of making Chow Yun-Fat look uncool.

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