(Words by Gotham Chopra and Brett Lewis, art by Michael Avon Oeming and Jason Baumgartner, 3 issue mini-series published by Flypaper/Image)
This comic is extraordinary. The artwork is amongst some of the most stunning I've seen in comics and the writing amongst some of the most intriguing. Full of eastern mysticism, gangster violence and romantic notions of love, Bulletproof Monk is an engaging addition to the rites of passage genre.
Protagonist Kar is a likeable fellow, adept at martial arts, but with a sense of humour and a clever streak in the kitchen. Given an antique pendant by his mother, he is told to seek out the legendary man who once wore it, for they need his help once more. However, Kar is all too easily distracted by all America has to offer, and especially a girl called Daughter. His feelings for Daughter drag him into the criminal underworld of Boss Wei's gang and his search for the Bulletproof Monk founders by the wayside until events take a turn that sends him back on his quest.
Illustrated in a neon pop art style, the luminous colours and vivid imagery perfectly reflect the interesting storyline and flesh out the characters. Initially the Oriental mysticism somehow confuses the reader, but this is no bad thing, as in the following issues things are in fact too obvious (you can see Kar's final discovery coming for miles), but the open ending implies that there may be more to come. Personally, I've grown rather attached to Kar and it was with a sense of loss that I reached the end of this series. Hopefully there will be more stories from the Bulletproof Monk, but in the meantime, seek this out by any means possible.
http://www.chopra.com/monk.htm sample images -- not the best ones though!
[Load time rating: graphics heavy ***]
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