Read 7 Pages of Ballistic, an Insane Comic About Designer Viruses and Talking Guns

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Ballistic_03_004 Photo: Black Mask Studios

Comics and graphic novels have a proud tradition of gleeful sci-fi insanity. It's been there from the absurd Batman adventures of the 1950s, through to the over-the-top British dystopias of the 1980s, and it's alive and well in Ballistic. This graphic novel is the latest release from indie publisher Black Mask Studios, drawn by superstar comics artist Darick Robertson (best known for his work on Transmetropolitan, Happy!, and The Boys) and written by relative newcomer Adam Egypt Mortimer. It hits stands tomorrow.

The plot is ... difficult to describe, but follows the adventures of a guy named Butch and his best friend Gun (a foulmouthed living gun). According to the official description, the duo "attempt to elevate Butch from air conditioner repairman to master criminal in the twisted, post-eco-apocalyptic Repo City State, a reclaimed trash island built entirely from DNA-based, living technology with bad attitudes." Simple enough! We're proud to exclusively debut seven pages from Ballistic, as well as a foreword from one of the most eminent names in all of comics: Grant Morrison.

Here's Morrison's foreword:

They say there's one with your name on it.

Most modern bullets these days are grown and bred with an overwhelming desire to die immediately — an irresistible urge to quit the nest that ultimately endows them with their sexy gloss of pristine effectiveness, their hot, Byzantine, intricate glamour.

So no matter how clever, no matter how many parallel-processing seahorse brains it's packing, all a blue-hot bullet really wants to do is to fly screaming through crackling, superheated air at 4000 feet per second, heading for adventure, horny for an enthusiastic intricate conversation with skin, meat bone and organ tissue.

"Ouch," you might say — again.

Generally the bullet AI has its whole argument worked out in advance and mortal clay has little choice but to agree.

But how should we/you feel about the lazy good-for-nothing slug that refuses to leave the chamber when its hammer insists? Lodged in Mother Gun's swollen chamber, an impacted cosmic-fecal mass, the bullet imagines for itself a life as a philosopher, a chat room provocateur, a self-invented super-hot otaku.

In your hands, this brilliant graphic novel "Ballistic" by Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson is, in part, about guns and their owners. Yet somehow intelligent bullets barely get a prominent mention — which seems unfair at the very least, and rampantly bullet-phobic at the worst.

You!

Mr. and Mrs. Consumer!

Put this book to your head and pull the trigger, or else!

Grant Morrison

West Hollywood 2015

And here are the exclusive pages, as well as the cover:

Ballistic_03_004 Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios
Photo: Black Mask Studios