The opening page of the digital-only “Bandette” #1 by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover offers up most of what you need to know about this new series. In a stately manor drawn in a leisurely manner, the eponymous Bandette vaults over a wall and stalks in as a thief. Her bright costume and smoother appearance make her feel anachronistic to the setting. This is a girl who juxtaposes against the world around her. She is unique and different, she is bold and stands out — even in a job where she should not.
Bandette is an intriguing lead exactly because she isn’t what she should be. She’s not stealthy, not careful, but still manages success. As she creeps through a mansion where she plans to rob expensive things, she talks incessantly to herself about pretty much whatever seems to enter her head — something that could easily become grating in its efforts to be overly cute. It will be interesting to see if this trait hangs around. In this instance, it gives the issue a few reasons to drop some exposition in a way that also tells us about the character.
“Bandette” #1 drops a few very classy and well-played moves once the chase scene begins, such as the series of bit players that harmonically get the protagonist out of danger. This supporting cast comes across like a romantic comedy version of the helpful players in old pulp stories like “Doc Savage.” Colleen Coover draws one hell of a fantastic page that shows us how Bandette transforms her heisting outfit into everyday wear — simple and pure storytelling. Paul Tobin smartly keeps any words out of the way.
“Bandette” is the sort of light and fluffy that can easily reach a diverse audience. If Monkeybrain Comics plans to branch out and find casual new readers, this is the sort of off the wall quirk that will easily prove perfect for a cheap read on a sunny afternoon. By the end of this issue, you’ll be actively waiting for more. “Bandette” should become the new cafe “Modesty Blaise.”