Friday, March 21, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #79: Daisy Kutter: The Last Train by Kazu Kibuishi

Once there was a great bandit by the name of Daisy, battling the law and stealing vast sums across a bleak Western landscape enlivened only by cute steampunky robots. But that was years ago: she's settled down now, retired to run a general store in a sleepy town, with her ex-partner (and ex-boyfriend) as the local sheriff.

Of course, if there's one thing we know about Westerns at this point in our history, its that gunslingers never really retire. Even if they think they have, there's always one last job, or one deal they can't refuse, or one name out of their past, until the guns get picked up again and the bullets start flying. This is no exception: there's a job only Daisy Kutter can do, and the man who needs it done won't take no for an answer.

Ten years ago, Kazu Kibuishi -- at about the same time he was assembling the first two Flight anthologies -- put out his first major solo comics work, a four-issue miniseries about that ex-gunslinger and the One Last Job she was dragged into. Early in 2005, it was collected as Daisy Kutter: The Last Train but it's been out of print most of the time since -- even a Kickstarted reprint was nearly two years ago, and probably unavailable as well.

This is Kibuishi pre-Amulet, and working in black and white, but it's recognizably his art from the first page -- square jaws, cute robots, a light manga influence in the action sequences, and all. Daisy herself is too good to be true: she's more of a type than an actual character, though making her female does move her away from the absolute standard of the type. The plot moves well and crackles with energy, though it's not likely to really surprise you. And, since Amulet is still developing complications as it charges into its sixth book later this year, it's great to see that Kibuishi can create an entire story -- beginning, middle, and end -- and do it well.

If you can find this, it's a lot of fun -- the steampunk stuff is mostly background and villainous maguffins, but it's suitably steamy-looking. And Daisy herself is tough and laconic and an absolute dead shot, just as she absolutely has to be.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

No comments:

Post a Comment