Review: The Incredible Bun #2 (Madius Comics)

Madius Comics’ tale of a giant rabbit who goes to the city to make his fortune, The Incredible Bun has evolved from its cutesy beginnings to become something very different indeed.

Publisher: Maadius Comics
Writer: Mike Sambrook
Artist: Rosie Packwood
Price: TBC from the Madius Comics Store

After making the way to the city and becoming embroiled in the animal fighting world, this second issue of The Incredible Bun is much more event focused that the opening chapter. We start with a training montage (which is told brilliantly across a double page spread), before Bun is pitted against the powerful Vex – a fox like creature with a hidden secret. Once this bout is completed, Bun gets dragged further into the sleazy under belly of his manager’s world and from that point on he must decide where his priorities lie.

This is definitely a much more focused story than the opening chapter, and with the characters firmly in place, Sambrook and Packwood are able to really make the most of building a story about the big fight atmosphere. However this is much more than just Rocky with rabbits, they also manage to give the story a real hart and depth to it, despite Bun being completely mute.

Alongside the cutesy animals and over the top action there is also a slightly dark heart to it, which gives it the kind of edge and depth that the animated Watership Down had (and also inspired so many childhood nightmares as a result). While it is not as dark as some of Madius Comics books, it manages to tread a delicate line between cutesy and edgy which stops it from being too schmaltzy or goofy, but without going too full on and graphic at the same time.

The excellent range of supporting characters from the sleazy manager to the over the top trainer and the mysterious Vex help to push the story forward and Sambrook constantly makes you second guess where the story is heading – just when you think you have handle on it, he chucks in a curve ball, but never in an unnecessary way. These unexpected twists all make perfect sense within the world and make the story richer and more interesting as a result.

It helps that he is aided by some incredible artwork from Packwood. While the opening pages of Bun #1 were some of the most beautiful pages we saw last year, her work became a little erratic in the city scenes and she was unable to maintain that high quality throughout the first issue. However with issue #2 she is on it from the start. There is a real confidence to her work and you get the feeling that she really know the world that Bun is set in and it means the comic is much stronger as a result. She gives the world bags of character in both the action scenes and the talking scene, and also gives drivers some really imaginative layouts (such as the fantastic training montage at the beginning or a heart wrenching scene at a dog racing tracks in the final act). The colours from Rosie are also out of this world, giving it a slightly vintage feel to it, which goes well with the purple and orange theme which seems to permeate throughout the book.

With a final twist which hints at a new direction for upcoming issues Sambrook and Packwood have taken what could have been a really cheesy giant bunny story and turned into something really top class.