"Punk Mambo #0" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Peter Milligan
Illustrated by Robert Gill
2014, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 19th, 2014
Valiant Entertainment has been dramatically increasing its line of comics, expanding the shared universe with several different initiatives. This has provided a bunch of characters with some time in the spotlight, and Victoria Greaves-Trott aka Punk Mambo is one of them with this special #0 issue showing her origin story. She goes from a rebellious schoolgirl to a voodoo priestess living in the Louisiana bayou.
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The bulk of the issue is centered on the title character's quest for revenge against the folks that sent her down the voodoo path in the first place, when she was given to a hundred-plus-year-old creeper feeding off of punk wanga. You don't see the horrors that she went through, and none are really implied, but it was definitely unpleasant. It's also tough to tell how long she was held captive, as she's imprisoned and freed on the same page, escaping with some new voodoo knowledge. She's since grown into the dark magic, embracing it and using it for her own means.
It's this shortened torture period that makes the revenge side of the comic feel out of place. Sure, you can assume all kinds of horrible things that went on between those few panels, but you don't really know what did or did not happen to her. Plus, she came out with newfound abilities and she'll never grow old if what the old dude said was true. After gaining her vengeance in some pretty messed up ways, she lurks in the bayou, terrorizing idiot kids that venture too far into the swamp.
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The look of Punk Mambo is pretty cool right off the bat. She looks like the kind of person that you do not want to screw with, sporting a leather jacket, ass-kicking boots, and a bright pink mohawk. Artist Robert Gill incorporates that haircut into some great psychedelic panels, where the hair flows up and out, becoming swirling colors in a vision induced by boiling a human head. Later on, during one of the revenge scenes, a man sees hideous versions of Punk Mambo surrounding him, each appears demonic with sharp teeth, rough skin, and claw-like fingers.
This was my first exposure to Punk Mambo. I'm intrigued about the character, but I don't see her as a tortured soul or some sort of villain. She got dealt a bad hand by some creeps and now she's making the best of it in the bayou as an unusual voodoo priestess.