Comic Review: Kim and Kim #2
The fast talking bounty hunters Kim Q and Kim D are back in Kim and Kim #2 as they piss off bar owners, have some daddy problems, and attempt necromancy, but accidentally bring back a sand worm. Writer Magdalene Visaggio’s plotting is pretty loose in this issue as she starts off with a pretty self-contained bar brawl featuring the not-so diplomatic Kim Q while adding world-building and conflict along the way as Kim D struggles with a simple necromancy charm to bring her aunt back and find the mysterious Lady Babylon. Artist Eva Cabrera and colorist Claudia Aguirre bring a feeling of pure mayhem to the fight scenes and confusion to the spell casting scenes as they mash up The Craft and Dune while still keeping their fun animation-influenced art style.
In Kim and Kim #2, Visaggio, Cabrera, and Aguirre subscribe to an action first, exposition later storytelling philosophy. This really works for a quick hitting, visual medium like comics where there are only 20-25 pages to tell a story, and a funny facial expression, quick kick to the balls, or fighting a sandworm with a guitar amp sticks in your mind more than a backstory infodump. And there are plenty of these aforementioned things in Kim and Kim #2 beginning with a super cool underwater city that turns into a fight scene as Aguirre switches her color palette from a romantic purple to a violent red. Visaggio also uses these first couple pages to contrast the Kims’ personality. Kim Q jumps into situations without thinking relying on her gut and gumption while Kim D overthinks. This is why Kim Q is the one beating up the “Candy Boys” while Kim D is smoking, freaking out about summoning a dead relative, and generally chilling out in a sci-fi version of Broad City with Tom, a tentacled former drug mule, who wants to see Lady Babylon.
Kim and Kim #2 is filled with some bad feelings as Kim Q’s dad shows his just plain evil side and misgenders her while sending some of his bounty hunters to collect her in a future issue. With one line of dialogue, Visaggio shows their terrible relationship and also adds a bit of humor by putting Mr. Quatro’s name as “Oh Shit It’s Dad” in Kim Q’s phone. And then there is Kim D’s pretty bad experience with necromancy that backfires on her as Visaggio pulls back the curtain a little bit in Kim D’s narration and says that it’s used to bring dead relatives back to negotiate the terms of their will. Kim D has mixed feelings about tapping into this kind of power, and this hesitancy can be seen in the effect of her spell. Kim and Kim live in one seriously screwed up world.
However, Visaggio, Cabrera, and Aguirre channel these negative vibes into one cathartic set piece that might top last issue’s battle royale. Above all, Kim and Kim is a fun action book with one-liners and energetic double page spreads with outrageous imagery, like a flying bus and a guitar amp being used to take out a giant sandworm that is cool enough to bring Frank Herbert back from the dead. (Or someone else.) Aguirre brings all kinds of reds and pinks to the background of this page to crank up the intensity of the situation before dialing down her colors for the big reveal and issue’s denouement. Cabrera also finds a nice rhythm with her panel layouts using short bursts of one-liners and scenes of the Kims beating the sandworm with various weapons before hitting a kind of crescendo with the double pager. It’s one hell of a way to end an issue and shows the Kims’ determination and teamwork on full display.
Kim and Kim #2 truly is a rare delight. Magdalene Visaggio crafts funny, yet nuanced characters and teams up with Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aguirre to put the Kims into outrageous, action packed situations involving aliens, eye liners, and more guitar smashing. Throw in a “relevant to the main plot” cliffhanger, and the cover of Kim and Kim should be found in the Merriam Webster dictionary next to “ass kicking”.
Rating: 6 (out of 7)