The Bonehead Vol. 1 collects Bonehead #1-4 into a single book. This collection offers enough to see the rise of a new hero and the return of an old one to a futuristic world. Bryan Hill and Rhoald Marcellius create a polished story surrounding two protagonists with two different narratives.
For the emerging hero 56, he follows orders from his creator, but circumstances push him beyond those confines. The other side of this coin is Blackdeath who is a former vigilante but has chosen to follow a more secure path to justice. He’s pushed to his limits under the realization that he may not be able to follow the law’s strict path.
They live in a society controlled by Boneheads — gangs who do parkour using helmets that heighten their skills. They have the choice of protecting their people or overtaking them, while also contending with a system they know to be corrupt. These enthusiasts try to do right or wrong by their city with gravity-defying results.
In their home without hope, a mysterious drug has taken to the minds of those in the lower classes of society, so these Boneheads must solve this problem. These people in a tale not so far from our future makes a reader want to jump around their own homes.
Bonehead Has A Story That Won’t Betray You
Bonehead Vol. 1 is about good men doing the right thing, despite being on the outskirts of society. There isn’t a moral greyness in the first volume by anyone’s standards. I felt like its straightforwardness benefited the characters. You sympathize with all of them to some extent and you relate to their common struggles.
When 56 is learning about the world as a newcomer, Blackdeath’s struggle with choosing who he wants to be as an older person brings out the same interest. While in other tales decency without consequence may come off as boring, the writing has a nice enough sheen to counteract that effect.
You find that most of the details are exciting and you like how they all fit together. Despite not having Shyamalan-level twists, you like the gangs, the droids, and the drugs, even if they’re bad for you. Bonehead Vol.1 creates mechanics that would make a person write a fanfiction. I think that’s one of the strongest credits I’ve ever given to a comic book. In fact, I can also say this writing made me smile because it was a fun read.
The one caveat is the first four issues gave us what I believe is an entirely all-male cast. I mean everyone is wearing a mask, so I’m uncertain until further reading, but it can be a concern for readers who search for a more diverse set of characters. I appreciate having a mute character who needs an accessibility device to live for a protagonist, though. He has a visual language that gets his point across that makes him quite cuddly.
I’d Cosplay All of These People
The running and jumping look fluid and distinct in Bonehead. For instance, 56’s running doesn’t match a policeman’s parkour skills because his body’s placement isn’t as rigid. I liked those details along with how everyone looks, due to the fact that their street outfits all look so cool. These clothes would look right at home at Comic-Con.
I even liked the sea creature aesthetic for the droids since it makes them so cute. A small nitpick is that it may, however, take a moment to recognize those smaller decisions. You’ll find blue is a common color choice for most of the backgrounds. While this choice helps the characters stick out, the world around them is a harder place to have a firm hold on. The writing does help deal with those deficiencies, but a description box can’t help with every detail.
I do like how the art and the writing blends together. This team fits together action and emotion neatly, even without having a need for faces. You don’t need a grimace to tell you someone’s in pain or a smile to tell you a character is happy. You get an emoji, body language, or dialogue that clues a reader in on the bigger picture.
Despite the helmets making the job harder, they manage to create empathy without expressions. I find this shift works well for a story based around technological advances. There’s a way to care even if the emotion is behind a screen.
Should You Buy Bonehead Vol. 1?
If you like superhero stories, parkour, or sci-fi intercity rebellion, Bonehead Vol. 1 would be your dream. You’ll root for the main goal of trying to create a better life for those who don’t have enough. Although, if you prefer your work to more off-the-cuff, I wouldn’t place your hopes on this one to surprise you. You’re going to know how Bonehead Vol. 1 goes down.
I’d pick Bonehead Vol. 1up for the fact that this volume works so well for its genre. While you know what may happen, you’re going to have a fun ride getting to the conclusion. There isn’t a strong, glaring deficiency that will take you out of having an enjoyable evening with snacks and a good internet forum.
Bonehead Vol. 1 by Bryan Hill and Rhoald Marcellius
Is Jumping Worth It?
You'll have a good time in a fun world where jumping off buildings and chasing after droids will bring you immense joy.