Story: Peter Milligan
Art: Robert Gill
Letters: Dan Lanphear
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: November 19, 2014
During the past few months, Valiant has been hit or miss with me. For instance, though it was well received by fans and critics alike, I didn’t see the reason for Unity #0 but I think they’re doing an excellent job with the series overall. Punk Mambo #0, a quirky new release, has some things working for it that put it solidly in my “continued reading” box.
Vaguely reminiscent of The Skeleton Key mixed with The Long Kiss Goodnight , sans the memory loss, PM #0 is a horror revenge tale with a twist. It’s the story of Victoria, once a British prep school lady-in-training at the height of the Punk Rock era, she becomes a vodoun priestess who subsequently calls the Louisiana Bayou home. Yeah, a white, British vodoun priestess; somehow, it works and works well.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a title that has successfully mixed the religiously mystical aspects of vodoun with the dangerously apolitical music of punk rock. “Punk” does it well and quite unapologetically. I’m not really a fan of cultural appropriation, but if you’re going to do it, do it with some flair and reckless abandonment.
As for the artwork, , it’s what I’ve come to expect from Valiant; professional and clean. This isn’t really an action driven story, so don’t expect a lot of bright colors or corny sound effects. That is not to say that there aren’t sequences of note where the art shines; Victoria’s reunion with the near immortal Joe Mayhem comes to mind.
If you’re in the mood for a good story, go ahead and give this book a shot. If you don’t like it, well it’s pretty obvious that you aren’t punk.