Bandette Vol. One: Presto! By Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, Dark Horse Books, $15.
Created after co-founder Chris Roberson’s 2012 falling out with former employer DC Comics over issues of creator’s rights, digital-only publisher Monkeybrain Comics quickly established itself as a powerful creative force. And the best and brightest “book” in its line was Bandette by writer Paul Tobin and artist Colleen Coover.
The Parisian teen title character dons a mask and cape to both commit crimes and fight criminals. As a super-thief, she robs bad guys and gives (most of) the loot back. As a superhero, she rescues hostages and stops bank robbers. Puckish, theatrical, confident and carefree, Bandette is Audrey Tautou’s Amelie in a mask and cape.
The first hard-copy collection introduces us to her, her friends, her enemies and her frenemies. Then, when she’s targeted by the evil, acronymed organization F.I.N.I.S, the capers escalate to heists, the chases to battles and the action approaches an epic … to be continued in the next volume. Bandette is, after all, a serial. Now readers who prefer their comic books in the form of actual books can finally follow along.