Reviews

Review – The Ballad of Sang #3 (Oni Press)

The Ballad of Sang #3 Oni Press cover (detail) by Alessandro Micelli
The Ballad of Sang #3 Oni Press cover (detail) by Alessandro Micelli

The Ballad of Sang #3 – Can You Dig It!

Sang finds the bounty on his head ever increasing. This has brought all kinds of gangs out of the woodwork looking to cash in. Luckily he has made a new friend in Lucy. They have dispatched all that has come their way so far. But there is no rest in sight as the roller derby girls, the Black Eyed Betties, come looking for Sang and Minchella’s arm. As the walls start to close in on Sang he realizes he can’t run forever in The Ballad of Sang #3.

Writing

The Ballad of Sang #3 Oni Press cover by Alessandro Micelli
cover by Alessandro Micelli

I really like what Ed Brisson is doing with this five-part story. He is weaving in all sorts of “B-movie” tropes and lines while still taking the story itself seriously. Brisson toes that line of taking the story seriously which needs to be done for the reader to be invested. But there is always that wink or nudge, saying “hey, we know this is really goofy also.”

As stated previously, I love all the different gangs that show up and how they all have their own theme and style. It is one of my absolute favorite things and The Ballad of Sang #3 continues to deliver some fun ones with the Black Eyed Betties roller derby gang. There is another gang that shows up that has a fun theme as well.

Brisson tones down the violence a little in The Ballad of Sang #3. Yeah, there is still some fighting going on but it is not as all-out as it has been. It lets a little “calmness” come in. It also helps the story flow a little bit differently in this issue. I am sure with two more issues to go there will be plenty more bodies strewn about, so it is nice to have a little break from that.

Art

Alessandro Micelli is doing some great work in The Ballad of Sang #3. Micelli has a nice style that fits well with this story. It is a little cartoony, but not over-exaggerated. The characters still look and react normally, but they have a little bit of that cartoonish quality that fits superbly well with this story. Micelli’s designs for all these gangs and characters are fantastic. From the clothing to the weapons, I love just looking over the characters just to catch little things they are holding or wearing. These little details really help build the world in The Ballad of Sang and make it come to life.

Shari Chankhamma’s coloring fits oh so well. It is dark but it has this tinge of brightness to it that works perfectly with Micelli’s pencils and inks. The colors just have that nice dirty tinge to them also that brings out the “grunginess” of the series. Crank!’s lettering is fantastic as well; it encapsulates the whole attitude of the series.

Conclusion

The Ballad of Sang #3 is a great midpoint issue for this five-part series. It is a nice “calmer” issue to get us geared up for the final two issues. Look, I am not going to tell you this is the greatest book ever, but man it is just a lot of fun. It is like a good ’80s action movie—it is probably not going to win a lot of rewards or praise, but you sit down to watch it and enjoy every second of it!


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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