Bang! Tango by Joe Kelly is a great example of Image comics busting out of the over done artwork of its birth and into the powerful and provocative storytelling that separates it from the two major comic book publishers. Bang! Tango is not a comic DC or Marvel could have ever put out, which is what makes it perfect for the ideal that Image began with. A creator driven comic line.
Vinnie Ponticello is leading a fresh life, far away from his past and the deeds he left behind in New York. He is in San Francisco with his new girl and dance partner Melina. Together they are well on their way to becoming world class ballroom dancers and for Vinnie, it is a chance to put New York and one mistake behind him.
But in comes Autumn. The girl who broke his heart. The girl he left behind. The girl that made him doubt everything about himself. The girl who has a sadistic mob boss hunting Vinnie down. Autumn, the girl who wasn’t all girl.
Autumn needs Vinnie to pull off one more job and get her enough money to have the gender reassignment surgery she needs to become the woman Vinnie wants. But to do that would be risking his new life. Risking Melina and letting the Mob know where he was. It also makes Vinnie question who he is as a man. If he really loves Autumn then does that mean he is gay? For Vinnie that is something he cannot accept. But Autumn has a hold on him and he cannot say no to her.
Bang! Tango is dark and gritty storytelling. This is Frank Miller style writing just updated to a more modern and realistic setting. It is quick and witty and violent and provocative.
It is just that damn good.
Originally published in comic book format in 2009, it is being released in a graphic novel format so if you missed it once, don’t miss it again.
A real good read!