Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guns, Gangsters, and Transsexuals...BANG!TANGO

Hey Gang,

So it occurs to me that I've spent a good deal talking about the creator owned MOA books being published through Image, but have neglected my degenerate darling kicking around over at Vertigo, Bang!Tango. The book is drawn by Adrian Sibar and inked by Rodney Ramos, colored by the Hories. A visual feast that's more than a little bit experimental in its way.

In a nutshell, Bang!Tango is the story of a low level gangster, Vincente, who's hiding out in San Francisco because a few years ago he screwed up a job that lead to the death of his boss's brother.  Life is moving along fine for him as a tango dancer/ instructor until an old girlfriend shows up who needs his help - the woman who he fought with on that fateful night...

So right about now, you're nodding, "Okay, crime noir. Femme fatale...I get it..." but, dear reader, there is as they say, a "twist."  Can't have a Tango without the twists. And the sexual tension. And the subtle but precarious transposition of male and female power roles.

The reason that breaking up with the lovely Autumn left Vinnie so emotionally shellshocked, is that three years ago, she let him in on her most precious secret...she was not born a woman.

There. Outed. Autumn is a pre-operative transsexual. A woman born in a man's body...and übermacho Vincente fell for her big time. That's gotta hurt.  

With Autumn's return, Vincente is forced to confront not only his violent past, but also the storm of conflicting emotions around his relationship with Autumn, complicated by the promise that one day soon, she will have the operation that will make her "outside match the inside."

Yeah. Bang!Tango goes there and then some. At its base, this is a fucked-up Joe Esterhause style crime story replete with sex, violence, and over-the-top badasses hurling truckloads of bullets at one another. Beneath that, if I may be so bold, it's a deconstruction of a traditional mob-hero via his sexuality - the unravelling of a man who defines himself through sex and violence when he is forced to confront his actual feelings.

I'm not gonna lie. It's a challenging one, kids. Not for the faint of heart, but I really hope you'll give it a shot if you're in the market for a wayyyy left of center book. 


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