Stray Bullets: Killers #3
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
So, this is kind of an odd issue. Not odd because something in it was shocking. Far from it, Stray Bullets: Killers has thus far been a suburban version of Frank Miller’s Sin City. In a way, that makes it much more disturbing. The oddness of this issue is two fold; this issue suggests continuity by following the story of Virginia, the main character from the previous issue, and despite the title of the book, there is no on-page violence.
This month, we see Virginia long before she comes to live with her Aunt and Uncle. She is living with Marisol, a woman who is entwined with Mr. Finger, the killer who cuts off people’s fingers she mentioned in issue #2. In the middle of a break up, Mr. Finger offers Virginia a babysitting job for one hundred dollars. She takes it and meets him later that night.
Mr. Finger drops her off after explaining to her that his life with his wife is a sham and he has a cover story for his long stints away from home. He also gives Virginia a secondary objective; find his wife’s rainy day fund. Mr. Finger knocks on the door and whisks away his wife, leaving Virginia to it. There are some strange moments, especially the introduction of his two middle children, but Virginia does what she promises to do, and fills the kids with sugar.
On her investigation of the house in search of the money, Virginia stumbled onto Mr. Finger’s eldest daughter, Bev. She seems convinced that Virginia is sleeping with her dad, and that she is working up to self mutilation with a lighter.
The phone rings, and what could be considered a jovial and relaxed conversation with Mr. Finger becomes a threat. Basically, unless she finds the money, he will be cutting off HER fingers. Virginia immediately goes about trying to convince the kids to help her look, and Bev, in her constant teen angst, lets slip that there are more than three kids in the house.
Now trying to handle two infants, two elementary school students, and an angst-ridden teen, the Finger continues to call and reinforce his threats. The culmination of her efforts to employ the kids is her screaming at them for not being cunning enough. All of the kids begin to bore down on her, screaming and such, until Virginia puzzles out the hiding place.
Her age and the sadism inherent of her character shine through as she marches into Bev’s room and burns herself to show her what the reality looks like.
Here is where everything begins to spiral out of control. Finger calls telling Virginia to get the kids ready to leave, and that someone tried to kill him, but hit his wife instead. Virginia does as planned and her friend, Marisol, shows up to grab the family.
With the comic driving to a close, and Marisol driving to the safe house, Virginia reveals that she had Bev hide the money. She has just openly crossed Mr. Finger. The last panel couldn’t be more fitting for the issue or the character with the closing line.
“I’m with the Ocean City Middle Finger Preservation Society. We’re dedicated tot eh protection of this often misunderstood, but most entertaining of all the extremities. Our motto is: Fuck You. Year, we’re a little rude, but you know you’d miss us if we were gone.”
This was an incredibly entertaining issue, that makes Virginia all that much more human, if not altogether like able. The finger puns were an excellent way to insert the overt comic-like camp into this very serious series. This has not been the most satisfying issue, but it has been the most compelling. Bring on next month!
My Rating: 4.5 / 5