GUN HONEY #1/ Written by CHARLES ARDAI/ Art by ANG HOR KHENG/ Colors by ASIFUR RAHMAN/ Letters by DAVID LEACH/ Published by TITAN COMICS
Joanna Tan is a legend in certain circles. She is not an assassin or a weapons seller, but there’s no one better if you need to have a gun secretly transported somewhere. This is how she acquired the nickname Gun Honey.
While largely amoral, Joanna tried to only take jobs that helped people who deserved a break. Unfortunately, one of her latest missions indirectly led to a dangerous criminal escaping prison. With the American government breathing down her neck, Gun Honey must use her talent for infiltration to hunt down the terrorist leader she accidentally helped free, before more innocents die.
Gun Honey #1 is a retro offering born of a certain sub-genre of crime fiction. The kind dominated by femme fatales who are more deadly than they are beautiful. This sort of story is the bread and butter of Charles Ardai, who has won multiple awards for his mystery fiction and co-founded the publisher Hard Case Crime.
This is Ardai’s first time writing for a comic, but you’d never know it. The story action and exposition are introduced with intricate precision. Reading Ardai’s work is the literary equivalent of watching a Swiss watchmaker in action, with all the little elements working together perfectly.
The artwork is presented in a similarly smooth fashion. Ang Hor Kheng’s aesthetic reminds me of Mike Grell, though Kheng’s inks are a bit thicker and the linework obscured sometimes. The colors by Asifur Rahman provide a fine level of subtle contrast that draws the reader’s eye to where it needs to go.
Gun Honey is a solid crime adventure that puts the thrill in thriller. While it’s unlikely to win over those that aren’t already in love with the genre, fans of Hard Case Crime’s previous publications or similar series like Jon Sable: Freelance or Criminal will want to give this a try.
Gun Honey #1 releases on September 29, 2021.