Another issue, another reimagined version of a famed action hero joins the fray.

Bang! 2
Written by Matt Kindt
Pencils and Inks by Wilfredo Torres
Colors by Nayoung Kim

After the DEBUT issue introduced us to superspy Thomas Cord, a James Bond analog, writer Matt Kindt turns his attention to late-1980s American action cinema. And if you’re going to develop a new version of a classic 1980s action star, there’s really only one choice, in my opinion.

That’s right, the second issue of Dark Horse Comics’ Bang! focuses on grizzled detective John Shaw, who uses three inhalers that can enhance his strength, agility and intelligence to help him take down terrorist organization Golden Maze.

Along with the backstory to Shaw’s life as a hero – getting mysterious inhalers to enhance his abilities and then getting involved in defeating a terrorist threat on a cruise mostly by accident – the meat of the issue sees Shaw battling Golden Maze on a train.

The creative team on Bang! is top notch and makes the references to DIE HARD just oblique enough to not be too obvious, though the speech patterns are pretty spot-on. The bit about Shaw not wearing shoes is a cute nod to the 1988 film. I just wish writer Kindt had placed the story around Christmas time. Oh well, the debate will rage on.

Much like with the first issue, there’s more that meets the eye going on with these action stars. After Shaw takes down Golden Maze on the train, Thomas Cord shows up to enlist Shaw in the mystery of this author who seems to know what happened before it happened, and the pair set off to Japan for the next issue.

Bang! is quickly becoming a must-read series for me, so I’m definitely going to be along for the ride.