Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Tyler Boss
Release Date: April 27th, 2016
Out of all of the reviewers here at BCP, I’m one of the more generous ones. I have a tendency to pick comics to review that I know I’ll absolutely love, or have them assigned to me based on my tastes. Therefore, I give a lot of 5 star reviews and come away feeling fulfilled often. Even casually reading comics, I’m very picky over what I read, and tend to stick firmly to my personal ‘niche’. But then something like 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank comes and makes me question my whole review criteria by surpassing every expectation as it taps into my very core, providing just how truly impactful a comic can be.
The story follows the misadventures of four youngsters as they get up to shenanigans, including bickering over games of Dungeons & Dragons, fighting school bullies and staking out bonehead criminals, one of whom just happens to be a Nazi skinhead. The four kids are a charmingly mischievous bunch of ragamuffins, and comprise of Paige, a 12-year-old tomboy with better brawling skills than any boy; Stretch, a sprawling giant that just recently overcame a speech impediment; Walter, a science nerd who doesn’t speak often; and Berger, an 11-year-old motor mouth with the tongue of a sailor. They’re an endearing pack of brats, and some of the most hilarious, yet authentically written child characters ever in a comic book.
That’s what makes this story so special: Matthew Rosenberg has created a crop of characters you actually want to spend time with and root for. It would take the blackest of cold hearts not to smile reading their banter. Furthermore, the way he has managed to thrust them into a world they shouldn’t be experiencing without negating their innocence is testament to his grasp on the material. It’s an assured, confident beast of an issue to kick off a series with, somehow managing to have edge, charm and innocence, all the while driven by an exuberant energy and mature grit.
The artwork by Tyler Boss is just the bee’s knees, and perfectly complements both the endearing charm and menacing mystery bubbling under the surface of the story. It’s truly fantastic; both simple in appearance, yet understatedly detailed in its panels. All it does is reinforce that this is a story already firing on all cylinders, and everyone involved in the creation of this should be showered in Eisner Awards if the rest of the series maintains this level of quality.
Not only is this the best opening issue to a series in 2016, it’s one of the best first issues I’ve read in my entire life. Period. 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank is a must read for anyone who’s ever been a kid. If you only buy one comic book this week – this month, even – then make sure it’s this one. You will not regret it.
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The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_