REVIEW: 4 Kids Walk into a Bank #4

I have heard positive rumblings about this oddly titled sleeper hit from Black Mask Studios for some time.  It wasn’t until I was given the nod to review issue number four that I impatiently scooped up the first three issues.  I ravenously devoured each issue as the wistful writing therein tickled my nostalgic reflexes.  I found myself thrust back in time recalling and comparing classics like Stand By Me, Sandlot, and The Goonies.  The first three issues inspired me to carelessly fall into the credible hands of the Writer, Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Hone, Kingpin, 12 Reasons to Die) as I feverishly turned each page.

Issue four starts as each issue does, inanimate objects are imbued with Paige and her gang’s alter egos, as they hysterically play out a specific fantastical scenarios or situations.  As always the banter between our protagonists is innocent, real, and completely on the nose, recognized by anyone that had even the slightest of childhood experiences.  However, The fallout from this most recent disagreement puts Paige under immense pressure as she must now organize the robbery, secure the lockbox for her Father, and keep her crew together as time is running out.  Paige’s schemes could potentially expose her and the gang to an alarming level of  mortal consequences, which could push Stretch to his limits.  Will Paige be able to rely on the group as the carpet continues to be pulled from her feet,  or will her own determination fuel the good fight to save her Father’s good name keeping him from jail?

The writing by Rosenberg is second to none for this title.  This is truly the first comic book I have ever read where I actually laughed out loud (“Berger, keep it up”), and more than once.  This is definitely a coming of age, dramedy with some significant dark undertones, blind loyalty, and the resourcefulness of a scared child fighting for normalcy in her abnormal world.  Paige is the most mature, confident and courageous character I have ever had the pleasure to read (in a comic book).  I would be remiss should I not mention the art talent attached to this title as well.  Art/design by Tyler Boss (Lazarus, We Can Never Go Home, There’s Nothing There) is understated, which allows the story to be rendered without the distraction of vivid color and sexy art.  This may sound like a criticism but it’s not.  Whether Boss meant to or not, his art lends enough to the reader enabling us to build the characters in our mind which masterfully allows the reader a more immersive experience.  This in turn provides a fantastic canvas for the writer, and the people who benefit from a perfect writer/artist relationship is us, the readership.  BRAVO!

This is easily 5 out of 5 stars.  This is a must have for any pull list, not to mention that this will only run for five issues therefore, it is an easy jump on title.

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg
Illustrated by: Tyler Boss
Lettered by: Thomas Mauer
Publisher:  Black Mask Studios

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