Sharkey the Bounty Hunter No. 1 review: Intergalactic babysitting


Netflix’s latest collaboration with Mark Millar is Sharkey the Bounty Hunter.

If you’re a fan of rough-and-tumble good guys with child sidekicks, look no further than Sharkey the Bounty Hunter. The third project between “auteur” Mark Millar, Italian impresario Simone Bianchi, and the behemoth that is Netflix (the first being The Magic Order and the second being Prodigy), this is the sci-fi shoot-em-up galaxy roamer you’ve been waiting for, complete with post-humans, intrigue, aliens, and multi-species condom sales. This glorious comic had been in movie development for over a year, with a script from Michael Bacall, based on Millar’s writing.

Image Comics

Who doesn’t love a good bounty hunter story, though?

In the honored tradition of  movies like Hanna, Kick-Ass, and even the second Indiana Jones film, this is the story of a grumpy antihero who teams up with a kid to have adventures, only instead of New York or India those adventures take place way out in the galaxy somewhere. Sharkey has a strong “Lobo-esque” vibe to him, as we see in the first few pages, wherein he talks smack to a guy at a bar who happens to be wanted for robbery. And he also happens to be able to split his body into thirty-eight smaller versions. After wrangling this bounty, Sharkey hands over his freshly-laminated business card to the local authorities, gets screwed on the payout, gets intimate with a woman turning herself into an all-terrain vehicle (this is where the alien novelty condoms come into play) and meet his future partner, Extra-Billy.

Image Comics

Gosh darn responsibility and ice cream ships

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Extra-Billy is the nephew of the alien Sharkey just captured, who is now homeless and without a guardian. Between the orphan’s razzle-dazzle and some encouraging looks from the robo-girl, Sharkey is cowed into taking E.B. on a trip three hundred light years to some cousins, which he really, really doesn’t want to do. We learn that Sharkey is an ex-Sun-Corps soldier, which means that he is dangerous and has a good core, the hallmarks of any good bounty hunter, and a standard backstory that we’re sure to get into later. Sharkey tries to bail on the kid by sneaking off planet early to pick up a billion kodona (think Imperial credits)  bounty on the most wanted woman in the galaxy in his rusty ice cream van space cruiser, lovingly named the Snow-Cone, but his morals get the better of him and he goes back to pick up Extra-Billy.

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In the final pages of the comic, we’re introduced to “Big H”, a bounty hunter who just spent a year and a half disguised as a woman, to wrangle a crime lord into getting married so his friends would be in the same place so he could kill them all to collect a bunch of bounties. Big H gets the same call that Sharkey did, about the billion kodona bounty, and once he finds out Sharkey is after it as well, he agrees, signifying some history between them that will be dipped into, most assuredly. All in all, a fabulous comic that will likely make a fabulous movie, with vivid, flashy art from Bianchi and just the right amount of sarcasm and sass, Sharkey the Bounty Hunter is a must-read. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.