Review – The Ballad of Sang #4 (Oni Press)

It’s an Arms Race in The Ballad of Sang #4

The Black-Eyed Bettys and the Dandies battled it out over Sang with the Dandies capturing the mute boy assassin. In The Ballad of Sang #4, the Dandies hold Sang hostage while they communicate a deal with Minchella. Minchella is still pretty upset that Sang has his severed arm. The gangster wants Sang and his arm and it seems he at least has one within his grasp now. The Dandies have no intention of keeping Sang alive as they have a movie to film and Sang will be their star! Can Lucy convince the Black-Eyed Bettys to help save Sang or is this the end of the line in The Ballad of Sang #4?


The Ballad of Sang #4 of 5 (Oni Press) cover by Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma
Cover by Alessandro Micelli and Shari Chankhamma

Ed Brisson feels like he is having a lot of fun with this mini-series. While the story is nothing new or groundbreaking, it is a joy to read. The Ballad of Sang feels like one of those movies you put on when you just want to watch something fun and action-packed. With The Ballad of Sang #4, Brisson once again puts our mute boy assassin through the wringer. It seems Sang keeps going from bad to worse, but his spirit is never broken. There is not much to latch onto character-wise, but it is still interesting to see how Sang will survive.

Brisson continues to do a great job of bringing this world to life in The Ballad of Sang #4. These different gangs continue to be a ton of fun. The Dandies being a hipster gang filming a very odd movie is just as wacky and irreverent as anything going on, but somehow Brisson makes it work it this weird, weird world.


Alessandro Micelli continues to bring the violence in The Ballad of Sang #4. There are some fantastic fight scenes in this issue that Micelli excels on. Micelli’s gritty, rough style works tremendously well with this series. The big fight sequence is captured perfectly by Micelli. The scene is split up into an odd varied shape of panels throughout a 1-page spread that catches the mayhem and violence of the sequence. There are a few scenes that the “camera” angle of the scene could have been set up a little better, as they look a bit awkward. Sometimes the colors along with the gritty style are a little too dark. 

Shari Chankhamma besides a few scenes does some good coloring work. The art as a whole does a wonderful job of catching the “darkness” of the story while still bringing out the whole “goofiness” of the odd gangs and situation. Crank! on letters is doing a wonderful job as well, adding in nice touches that enhance the action and violence on the pages.


Once again: I am not going to act like The Ballad of Sang is the greatest comic I have ever read. It has its problems, the art is not perfect and the story is lacking some character depth. But, that being said, it is a lot of fun to read. From the mayhem and violence Sang brings, to the odd gangs with their themes and odd style. Sang is one of those “comfort” comics that you can pick up and know it is going to be a good time. It may not be perfect but it is a lot of fun just to sit back and enjoy.

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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