4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #2
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Tyler Boss
Lettered by: Thomas Mauer
Release Date: 06/29/2016
4 Kids Walk Into a Bank is one of the most fun books I’ve read in recent memory. It evokes this nostalgic feeling most of us get from thinking back to old school 80’s adventure kids films like The Goonies and Monster Squad whilst injecting it with a much sharper and meaner sense of humor akin to something like Mark Millar’s Kick Ass or the edgier Deadpool comics from the Marvel Knights line. There’s a few things in here that also remind me of Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe, but I’ll stop comparing it to other things and praise it on its own merits; this is a book you don’t want to miss because it takes the best qualities from all of the aforementioned and spins them all into something fresh and brilliant. I’m a big fan of the first issue, but that first issue served mostly as an introduction to the characters and did little to build on a story; this is where the story officially starts.
After catching her Father socializing with the “Nazis” who threatened her and her friends at her house, Paige and her gang of friends investigate the situation further unraveling a mystery that ties into the title of the book. Is Paige’s Father mixed up with this gang of thugs? Paige has to know. The issue opens up much like the first one did, we get the kids taking on characters from an arcade game they’re playing (the first issue had them playing a D&D like role-playing game) where we get to see more of their one-noted personalities shine; Paige, the sole girl of the tribe is tough and smart, Berger is vulgar, perverted, and annoying, Walter, is the quiet and timid one, and lastly Stretch there’s Stretch…I don’t really remember anything distinctive about Stretch. These characters are stereotypical, but again it works to evoke that nostalgic factor; again, I’m reminded of movies like The Goonies where each character kind of takes on a specific personality trait that pays off later in the movie. This is a sort of throwback to that, and I love it.
The writing is superb; it can silly and immature and then something sharp and brutal comes along that really can throw readers off-balance, but in a pleasant way. I really enjoyed this line about midway through the book where Paige and her Father are discussing some bullies Paige and the others have encountered in this issue and the last; he’s basically doing the cliché’ Father bit where he tells her that violence is never the answer, and she reveals that they were picking on her about a very sensitive and heavy subject, then her Father counters with the very honest and ferocious line that really made me feel for the both of them. It’s simple, yet so effective and Matthew Rosenberg deserves so much credit for it; this is a story about kids, but it never once feels like it’s a kid’s book. It also never feels like it’s ever above a silly and childish gag.
The art by Tyler Boss does a great job with the art; I’m not really digging on the colors all that much, they’re a little too static for my taste, but it’s not distracting and it doesn’t diminish the experience. I think it would have been a great black and white comic, but that’s just my personal opinion. The characters are all distinguishable, which is great because sometimes I find it hard to tell the difference between characters in non-superhero comic books; Tyler Boss makes sure every character has a unique look and distinctive features (tattoos, clothing, scars, etc). I never once was lost. Boss also does a great job capturing Paige’s emotions; anger, frustration, sadness; the story centers around her, so we really get in-depth glimpses into what she’s feeling with her facial expressions, posture, etc.
I’d definitely recommend this book to just about anyone; it really is a great read, it’s tons of fun, and the story is going places that are just ripe with danger, humor, and absurdity. I just learned about this book last week, but I’m definitely putting it on my pull list, it’s just too good of a book to pass up, and I feel like it has a broad appeal that will please just about any kind of comic book fan. Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss are onto something special, and I can’t wait to read what happens next.
- Story - 10/1010/10
- Art - 9.0/109/10
4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #2 is a fantastic issue for what’s lining up to be a brilliant series. The characters are enjoyable, the story is fun, intriguing, and suspenseful, and it has a very wonderful sense of nostalgia without feeling stale and played out. Check this book out, I doubt anyone would be disappointed.