Bashee: Origins review

Banshee OriginsBanshee Origins by Jonathan Topper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How far will I go to avoid reviewing 30 Days of Night… wait. I mean, how far will I go to review every IDW title? Well, look no further than Banshee Origins, a tie-in comic that was given away for free at my local comic book store.
As many already know, IDW does a lot of licensed work… almost exclusively, actually. Even a few titles you’d think are there’s are actually licensed, but I’m sure I’ll get into that rant at some point down the line. The different with this comic is that while they’re usually producing tie-in material to something that already exists (ie: new Next Generation stories or a new Ghostbusters continuity) this is actually something of a prologue to an upcoming Cinemax series, Banshee.
It’s written by Jonathan Tropper and drawn my Mike Henderson, who actually does a really decent job on the art. I reminds me of Micheal Avon Oeming’s early work on Powers over at Image, and that is very much a compliment. It’s very much the style I’d like an Engen-Universe comic to be in, should there ever be one.
The narrative follows a daring thief who I think is named Paul. He’s posing as a bank truck security guard, and one of the co-workers he’s duping calls him Paul. I would assume that’s an alias, but we’re never told different, so I have no idea. Anyway, the narrative starts and introduces us to Paul (the aforementioned daring thief) and Anastasia, the daughter of a powerful old-school Ukrainian gangster named Rabbit. Anastasia helps him pull off the heist as driver, and they get away with oodles of cash and celebrate at a private location owned by Rabbit.
Anastasia breaks on from the rest to call it a night, and several glances are exchanged… something’s up. Henderson does a very good job of portraying that. Rabbit’s lieutenant, Olek, brings Anastasia home and attempts to seduce her, though she politely declines and steps inside… where Paul is already waiting, and the two make love.
This is complicated by a prologue I didn’t mention is which Paul witnessed Rabbit killing one of his employees for stealing from him — petty theft, he even admits. And at the post-heist party we see how protective he is of Anastasia, treating her like property… well, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see where this is going, does it? Nowhere good.
Paul gives Anastasia a necklace with a picture of a simple, rustic house in it. It’s located “far from here,” and it’s where they’re going. Soon.
Paul takes her to a man named Job who works as a drag-queen singer at a local bar, but operates a “disappear” agency out of the back. Why? Lord know, but I like the character. He’s fun, and not at all what you’d expect. It makes for several enjoyable moments in the comic. He gives them new identities and reveals that they’re married and congratulates them. “Mazel Tov.”
The night that things are about to go down they’re set to make a big heist for Rabbit — and then leave with the money. But he seems to know about their plan. Anastasia doesn’t know how, but he knows. Paul thinks she’s wrong, but her narration gives us clear indication that she’s not… and that things are about to go very, very bad… cue cliff-hanger!
There’s an ad telling us that Banshee Origins will continue in the Spring when the Banshee series actually starts on Cinemax. Does this mean we’ll get a full miniseries or ongoing? It seems to be implying that, and that would make me pretty happy. It’s a good series with good art and a good premise.
Does this promo make me want to check out the tv series… well no, not really. It makes me want to read more of the comic. I think this kind of cross-promotional thing doesn’t work as well as some companies think. But if IDW keeps producing Banshee Origins, I’m there with bells on.

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