Just $1 here
"Get a good look into the
comic book scene in Australia."
"Each issue of That Bulletproof Kid
gives a grander scope to the adventure."
THAT BULLETPROOF KID #1
Hang on, what’s this? Another superhero comic, one that’s starring a teenager? Get out of town!
Before you run for the hills though, please stick around at least long enough to read the score for this book, and if you have even more time, backtrack a bit and read the review itself, because That Bulletproof Kid – Issue 1 may just surprise you…
The commonness of superhero comics is something that writer Matt Kyme is also well aware of, so why bother bringing another one into an already over-crowded market? For the pure love of the genre, and it is that love that shines through and makes That Bulletproof Kid – Issue 1 such an enchanting read.
Set in and ordinary city (albeit one in which the presence of superheroes and nefarious villains is an accepted reality), the book follows teenager Anthony Fischer’s first day back at high school to begin Year 11. Apparently Anthony has been somewhat antisocial over the holidays, missing his friend Howie’s party and not replying to any of the phone calls or text messages sent to him by his friend Bri or any of his other mates. Anth has a reason for being so unavailable, but when that reason is because he is in fact a superhero (well, a sidekick, at least), it’s kind of hard to come up with excuses.
After a typical day of school, hanging out with friends and dodging overweight bullies, Anth’s drum teacher reminds him that he is late for his drum lessons. Sounds normal enough, but replace the words “drum teacher” with “superhero mentor” and “drum lessons” with “top secret superhero mission”, and the story gets a whole lot more dramatic. Particularly when the other sidekick in training, Wormhole, is apparently blown-up in an attack from an evil super villain. Oh, the suspense…
Kyme’s storytelling skills are half of the reason why my reading experience was so entertaining. Sure, there was the occasional grammatical error where the first word in a sentence didn’t have a capital letter (which I can forgive because I was reading a digital preview copy), but overall the words kept me glued to the page. Good writers know that the key to getting people hooked is to leave certain important plot points shrouded in mystery, setting up the stage just enough to give the reader a tasty sample that leaves them hungry for more. Kyme nails this: How did Bulletproof get his super powers? What is the deal with the fight between the two super powered alien beings that occurred thirty years ago? Did Wormhole really bite the dust? All of these are questions that I must learn the answer to. Curse you Matt Kyme!
As if being spoiled with a highly captivating storyline wasn’t enough, the artwork in That Bulletproof Kid – Issue 1 by Arthur Strickland packs one heck of a mean punch. Initially I was somewhat taken aback by the visual style of the first few pages, but in a good way. Before long, I realized that the art style goes through a few subtle changes, particularly with regards to color. The scenes following Anthony’s “normal life” are all brightly colored with vivid, flat tones of solid color, with the shading also being a flat solid tone. Contrasted against this are the superhero sequences that feature cooler-temperature color palettes and much more tonal variation with the shadows and scenery. A one-page splash of Bulletproof’s previous exploits is also juxtaposed against the rest of the comic, featuring bolder outlines and paintbrush style tonal work, as opposed to the more “digital” feel of the majority of the book. Brilliant stuff.
At the end of the day, if you’re tired of superhero stories or simply just aren’t a fan of the genre (you lunatic), That Bulletproof Kid probably isn’t really going to do anything for you. However, if you love reading about the plight of the teenage superhero a la Spider-Man (like I am), I strongly urge you to check out a copy of this book (you can get it at this link), as That Bulletproof Kid – Issue 1 proves that indie creators can put out some damn fine costumed crime-fighting yarns. ‘Nuff said.
Life as a teenager is rough, being no longer a child and not quite an adult. And like many of us did, sometimes you just want the power to be something or someone else.
That’s pretty much what That Bulletproof Kid #1 is all about: finding your place in the world as it is rather than as you would have it be. Of course it’s hard to fight crime and still get your homework done on time; that’s the point of being a superhero, right?
Anthony Fischer is a typical guy trying to make his way through school (whilst wearing a Black Flag shirt). Trying to explain to friends where he’s been and why he’s been out of touch is difficult; mostly because fighting crime isn’t something you broadcast. Having to contend with bad attitudes and bullies is just another facet of his life. He even catches a bit of grief from Crusader, the hero to whom he is a sidekick, for being late. Going out on a quick mission, things seem typical at first but quickly turn dangerous. When their companion Wormhole disappears, Crusader and Anthony find themselves facing the villainess Monochrome.
Creator (and writer) Matt Kyme has his eye on the ball with this offering. Creating a down to earth character with superpowers isn’t that uncommon, but giving him the same problems and issues with which every teenager deals is something unique. Peer pressure is more than apparent here as Anthony tries to deal with his friends and classmates in a few social settings.
Working with Matt on this project is Arthur Strickland. A relative newcomer to the field, his artwork has tremendous potential. While some panels are far superior to others, overall I like his work and look forward to seeing more of it in the future.
Being an independent comic from Australia, I’m not sure where you can get a physical copy of the book, but the digital copy is available quite easily and is definitely worth a read. Being a huge fan of creator owned and indie comics, I urge you to jump in and see what you think. I bet you like it!
That Bulletproof Kid is an indie comic from Australia that’s (so far) about balancing the life of a superhero with the everyday responsibilities and expectations of being a teenager.
In that respect, it’s somewhat akin to Spider-Man; however, while the web-slinger is a full-fledged superhero, Anthony “Anth” Fischer is merely a sidekick. So, not only does he have to take guff from his friends over the inexplicable and, at times, anti-social behavior that results from having to deal with his superhero duties instead of real life, he also has to endure chastisement from his boss, the Crusader, when his real life interferes with his superhero duties.
This short first issue covers a lot of ground. In addition to showing us a glimpse of our hero’s school situation as Anth and his superhero adventures as Bulletproof Kid, it also gives us a flashback to another, seemingly unrelated story of 30 years ago. We see two brothers, superpowered aliens on opposite sides of interstellar law. One is imprisoned for some unnamed crime and faces harsh punishment. His brother risks everything to help him—but maybe not in the way he had hoped.
The two stories—Anth’s and that of the two brothers—are very different, but both compelling in their own way. It’s a rather interesting contrast between what seems to be an epic, interstellar saga of sibling rivalry and the fairly low-key depiction of the daily trials and tribulations of a work-a-day sidekick. No doubt the connection between the two storylines will be revealed in subsequent issues.
The comic was created by Matt Kyme, the artist behind Tales to Admonish, now stepping into the role of writer and creating an interesting and worthwhile story. The artistic duties on Bulletproof Kid are handled by Arthur Strickland, who has a very different drawing style from Kyme but provides a slick, mainstream superhero-y look that fits the tone of the comic well.
It’s very difficult to judge an ongoing series based on its first issue. There’s so much to establish and so little room to do it in. But, Kyme does it well, giving us a hook and drawing us into the world enough to make us want to explore it further. I look forward to seeing what Issue #2 has to offer.
That Bulletproof Kid #1 is available in either digital or print form here, or visit their website for more information.
--Steven W. Alloway
That Bulletproof Kid has a very classic feel to it. Teenage superhero trying to juggle a personal life with the ever difficult extracurricular activity of fighting crime. And from what we see in the first issue, this isn’t any ordinary crime. This looks like a book that will take us all over the place. No cliches here. Matt Kyme teams with Arthur Strickland to put a very comfortable book to the shelves. The cover says it all. “Your new favourite comic book.”
Turns out that having super powers isn’t easy. Anthony Fischer knows that all too well. During a typical school day, Anthony is forced to dawn his superhero attire and leave campus unexpectedly. When he arrives on scene of Monochrome’s newest criminal plot, blood is spilled and a very typical day of fighting crime turns out to not be very typical at all. What could this mean for our hero? Has he bitten off more than he can chew?
The writing is good. Matt makes it easy to settle in to the character really early on. That’s a good thing. The story isn’t too layered with confusing backstory and character bios. Sometimes you have to be careful with that stuff. Luckily, by the end of this issue, you already know what kind of book it will be. That makes it easy to keep it in your pull. Some people think that shock and awe are the most important things in storytelling, I don’t. I think that a solid character driven by solid plot keeps a story alive. That right there is That Bulletproof Kid.
I also like the art in this. It goes well with the script. I get kind of an Invincible feel when I’m looking at it. Actually the whole book takes all of the good things from that book and leaves the bad. There is a presence of a cartoon-like look, but the characters are drawn descriptively enough to make sure that the dramatic moments stay that way. Nice work all around.
The best word that I can use to describe this book is probably “solid”. You know exactly what you’re getting with it. And I think that there is a lot of room to grow. That keeps me interested. If I was under the impression that this book couldn’t ever get any better, I wouldn’t be interested, but I know that that isn’t the case. This is worth your time.
THAT BULLETPROOF KID #2
"That Bulletproof Kid offers a spin on the regular superhero story."
With this second issue, That Bulletproof Kid really starts to come into its own as a comic.
The first issue was good, but this one gives us a better look into the world where the story takes place and gets us more invested in what’s going on.
When we last left our hero—or sidekick, rather—he was about to face off against a villainess named Monochrome. Of course, he escapes, but not unscathed, and now he and his mentor Crusader must answer to The Tribunal: the organization that oversees superheroes and their activities. They’re not convinced of Bulletproof’s reliability in the hero department, due in part to his somewhat dubious origins.
As if that wasn’t enough, Bulletproof has to balance his sidekick job with life as an ordinary high school student, including passing classes, making time for friends, and being home in time for dinner. He tells his mother that he’s always out because of the band he’s in.
But, when his actual friends really want him to be in a band, he has to make excuses for that, too. It’s interesting to see the task of saving the Earth from supervillains portrayed as an extracurricular activity.
The art style in this issue is distinctly different from the previous one, as the duties which were previously performed by Arthur Strickland have now been taken on by series writer Matt Kyme, with coloring by Gat Melvyn. The series as a whole is starting to be a lot of fun, setting itself apart from standard superhero stories, while at the same time sending them up a bit.
There’s action, there’s humor, there’s intrigue, and more. That Bulletproof Kid is definitely a series to keep on your radar.
That Bulletproof Kid #2 is available in digital and print forms from If? Commix.
--Steven W. Alloway
"Sets itself apart from standard
In an industry where superheroes have pretty much explored every origin story and every power, it can be tough to get the hook I to readers to keep interest.
Matt Kyme brings a familiar power set (bulletproof, flight strength and healing) to this comic and lets that be the back-drop.
The focus in this superhero comic is about a teenage superhero just trying to get by in high school, again a theme that sounds familiar. All the familiarity would seem off putting but that also lets you look deeper I to the story and lessons trying to be taught.
The true writing of this issue shines when different characters are put in typical high school situations, bullying being the overall thread to the problems.
As I read through the events, I almost forgot this was about a super powered teenager, which is a credit to the story I was focused on.
The illustrations are used to express the feelings of the characters almost perfectly for each scene. The coloring does a great job of separating the comic from its two parts; the super hero aspect and the daily struggle of a teenager.
Using the familiar theme and powers as the foundation for what this comic can be in future issue helps to focus on what is important, the story and all the values that should be taught.
It’s tue that Bulletproof is a teenager and must learn how to be a super powered being, but he also can’t just hit the fast forward button on his life and skip the knowledge that comes with experience.
Again, the writing in this comic touches on many familiar themes that have appeared since comics first started to be written and read, and Matt Kyme even breaches that subject of how to set itself apart from other comics by including a scene where this idea is poked fun at.
This was enjoyable to read since it felt so familiar.
"Kyme has his eye on the ball—I urge you to jump in and see what you think!"
REVIEW BY REGEEKEN
That Bullet Proof Kid is another comic brought to you by IF? Commix, the same people who brought you Bullet Gal (they really like bullets). But don’t get these two confused. Where Bullet Gal is a stylized noir story, Bulletproof Kid is a straight up hero comic.
I jumped into issue #2 without reading #1 but that didn’t matter since by the end I had a pretty good idea of the back story.
This issue story starts from the cliffhanger ending of #1 with our hero fighting alongside two others, Crusader and Wormhole, against the villainess, Monochrome, set on preparing the Earth for an incoming alien force. They eventually win the day, but let the villain escape, and get Anthony, Bullet Proof Kid, hurt in the process. Anthony is quickly learning that being a hero is not all glamor and glitz.
It’s about who you are, what’s you’re “catch” and mainly lying to everyone you love or care about. He has to tell his mom he’s practicing with his band, tells his friends he has to go to drum lessons, and lies to everyone about how he got hurt. He also becomes a sub, or initiate, of a government group called the Tribunal, which oversees all super human activity, where he has to prove his worth under the tutelage of Crusader. He finds that even his freedom of being a hero is up to someone else to decide So with great power comes even greater problems. In the middle of all this there’s that pesky alien invasion coming.
So, you can see that Matt Kyme has definitely set the plate for this book. He has created several different plot paths he can wander down and take this character in lots of different directions. The story is solid and the artwork is good as Matt has taken over the duties of illustrations from Arthur Strickland who penciled #1. Some pages, and panels, worked better than others but over all a very nice job.
The colors by Gat Melvyn are excellent giving the book a slick and polished look. Having Kyme both write and illustrate his book gives him the ability to add his own flare and personality to not only the story but also the art. This shows up in small details and little added pieces of art that are thrown into the background or on the shirts of the characters. References to the group Black flag, IF? Commix, and “I got Kitty Pryde” are awesome. These allusions show up in the story also.
“Don’t come crawling back expecting to join when we’re bigger than the Be-Sharps” or
“Perhaps you’re the son of the most powerful hero on Earth, but he is actually evil and plans to enslave the Earth?”
These draw you closer to the writer.
You only get them if you’ve watched the shows he has or read the comics he reads. It puts you on a personal level with him and I’m a sucker for that stuff.
This book is a great representation of the work that is coming out of Australia, and the perfect place to get introduced to these great creators.
"Finally with us, following directly on from the cliffhanger ending to issue #1."
THAT BULLETPROOF KID #3
“Don’t worry about the rules! This is our chance to show what we can do on our own! Just keep your head down, ok? Things are pretty wild where we’re headed.”
That BulletProof Kid offers a spin on the regular superhero story where each issue serves to dig up more mysteries surrounding it’s title character. Writer Matt Kyme uses issue three to shed light on more of the sinister background TBPK has in relation to where he got his powers. It’s causing some of the other heroes to question his allegiance. But can we trust him? In this issue we get a glimpse into the past – TBPK’s past that is, and we’re shown just how much he knows about the Spectrum – and wait, is that a Dragonball? Oh… wrong story.
As the superhero world is presenting its own problems a lot of these stories also take root in a school setting, adding for some typical teenage problems with a maturity to the characters perhaps a bit beyond their years.
On the artwork side of this issue is Matt Kyme also taking up pencils/inks along with colors by Gat Melvyn. These two are able to create some colorful and well detailed scenes. One of the highlights from this issue, in regards to the artwork, comes from a scene mentioned above (and no it wasn’t a dragon ball…) – in the scene a young TBPK cries over a fallen friend (you’ll have to read to find out who!), what makes this scene so great is the overbearing blue placed over the page, the scene taking place in the rain outside, and yet lighting from various sources is able to come in and give the characters illuminated definition. A middle panel showcases the young would-be hero, his face brightly lit, looking over his fallen friend, half his face in the light, the other half in darkness – this might also allude to some of the worries other heroes have about this friend – was he light/good or dark/bad in his actions?
Issue #3 of That BulletProof Kid dives a bit more into the history surrounding TBPK’s powers, but makes sure to also give some lighthearted fun along the way.
Each issue of That Bulletproof Kid gives a grander scope to the adventure.
Our hero, Anth, a.k.a. Bulletproof, has gone from being an ordinary superhero’s sidekick to being caught up in—and possibly the center of—intergalactic conflict and intrigue, involving some old grudges and a mysterious and powerful item/device/possible weapon. He also has a paper due for a really strict teacher.
That’s what I like about That Bulletproof Kid: the juxtaposition of these epic superhero adventures with the everyday problems of an average high school student who’s just trying to pass his classes while fitting in and having a life. It makes the whole thing seem more real and more accessible. It also provides some great humor.
Fresh off a battle with the villainous Monochrome and a bunch of “living slug abominations,” Bulletproof is taken for an off-the-record, not-entirely-friendly conversation with a member of the Tribunal—the organization that oversees superheroes, and apparently most of the galaxy. A lot of people don’t trust Bulletproof and are wary of his power and where it came from. Despite that mistrust, Bulletproof’s loyalties remain with the Tribunal; however, not everyone shares that loyalty—and whether or not they’re even deserving of that loyalty remains to be seen. One thing is certain: nothing is as it seems.
I’m definitely hooked on That Bulletproof Kid. The story is compelling, the artwork is a lot of fun, and, in addition to the ongoing story, it also provides us with some great snippets of the superhero adventures—and high school drama—that Anth/Bulletproof has to deal with on a daily basis. This issue features the aforementioned slug abominations, along with a rather odd and funny discussion between a group of high school girls about the bizarre themes they want at their weddings.
My only criticism is that the wait seems too long between issues. Of course, I understand. It takes time to put together a comic, especially now that Matt Kyme is doing double duty as writer and illustrator. I want to know what happens next, though. So, while technically a criticism, that’s also perhaps the highest praise I can offer.
That Bulletproof Kid #3 is now available in both print and digital formats from IF? Commix.
This month we get the release of That Bulletproof Kid #3 by Matt Kyme and IF? Commix.
In this issue we delve more into Anthony’s past with Mr. Tremendous, why “Order” doesn’t trust him because of that past, and the reason the Tribunal wants to, but doesn’t, strip his powers.
Also, we see TBPK's struggles between real and hero life becoming more and more overwhelming. The poor kid doesn’t know why Mr. Tremendous gave him his powers as he lay dying on that rainy night, and now he has to guard some scroll called the Spectrum. TB`K is just trying to be the best hero he can be with the gift he was given, but for some reason unknown to him the heroes he looked up to now distrust him. Plus the kid has to deal with everyday teenage life and it seems like the pressure is building up.
We also get some more insight into the coming invasion by Maux and his tenuous partnership with Tremendous's brother Dr. Formidable. (I need to say here that I really love the names in this book! Mr. Tremendous and Dr. Formidable? This has to be a nod to the superhero movie Mystery Men. Mr. Furious and Captain Amazing, come on, I love it. ) They have a major issue with the Tribunal which seems to have influence, not just on Earth, but across the galaxy. This is going to lead TBK straight into eye of this impending storm as Dr. Formidable has vowed, with aid from Maux, to find the Spectrum and destroy the Tribunal.
Once again Matt takes the helm as writer and artist and does superbly in both. I hope he keeps up both positions since as a creator this gives you complete control over your story and look. Colors are done colorfully-wonderfully by Gat Melvyn, and by looking at that last splash page these two work fabulously together.
Mr. Kyme is making a solid, classic, superhero book. A good lead character with a firm back story, an all-around strong cast of support characters, and a several other characters that may be able to spin out their own comic for IF?
Matt Kyme, the artist on IF? Commix's notorious Tales to Admonish series, is back with a continuation of his very own project.
In this 3rd exciting issue of That Bulletproof Kid, details of Anth's mysterious past emerge while he continues to struggle with his dual identity, both with friends and peers in the Tribunal.
A surprising alliance forms between the cruel warlord Maux and one of his hated enemies, while the menace of Monochrome continues to threaten the natural environment!