Honestly, Fangirls, I hope all of the workers in comic shops that you go to are as lovely as the folks that we see in ours. They know us like the back of their hands. I bring this up because one of the gents who always knows what to recommend is the one who repeatedly suggested that I read Bandette, and I’m very glad that he did.
Bandette is a French thief with the best attitude ever. She is carefree and fun, a combination that is seen less and less in comic book heroes and heroines. I believe she is in her early twenties, she has friends who are willing to put themselves out there for her, but not in the ways you’d expect. They work together in wonderful harmony, and the book is just so fun and enjoyable to read.
Volume One: Presto is where we meet Bandette. The first heist we see if stealing four of Rembrandt’s miniature sketches from an arms dealer. She then goes to help the police with a bank robbery (she hides in the bags of money, then gives the thieves some knockout spray). When a rival thief, Monsieur overhears FINIS’ leader Absinthe rallying other thieves to take down Bandette for good, he gets her attention by putting signs all over Paris for her to meet him where “Malleville kisses Jane.” Only Bandette understands this code, but her cohorts band together as backup.
The meeting between Monsieur and Bandette is cut short by Matadori, a Spanish thief, who was sent by FINIS to end Bandette. They fight, but once it is obvious that Bandette will not fall, FINIS snipers start shooting. That’s where it gets interesting, and if you want to read more, you should buy the book and read it.
As gorgeous and interesting this book was, my favorite parts were after the story ended. There are eight Urchin Stories written by Paul Tobin (Bandette’s writer) with guest artists, the diary of Daniel (Bandette’s friend and admirer), descriptions of pieces Bandette has stolen along with why and where they currently reside, and a tutorial on how Colleen Coover illustrates Bandette. These end bits shine a little more light on Bandette’s world, and that of her friends. I think it makes her even more personable than her attitude alone does.
And I think you should read it, Fangirls. No, it isn’t moody like Batman, it’s not sassy like Deadpool, instead, it’s genuine. Reading this, I know Bandette. I would love to be one of her urchins in Paris, helping her escape from meanies and eating candy bars after a job well done. So go forth and read, Fangirls. You can find the digital comics here, and can order the physical copy wherever Dark Horse Comics are sold.
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