Grab your bass guitar and your favorite hot pink rifle because your favorite lady bounty hunters are back and fiercer than ever! Mags Visaggio (with art by Eva Cabrera, Claudia Aguirre, and Zakk Saam) bring us another fun tale of Eisner-nominated lady bounty hunters in Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield. Kim D. and Kim Q. are still poor AF (though their latest score allows for a little extra fun shopping and possibly not living out of the van and just eating ramen for a few months), but making the most of life as best they can.
That is, until Kim D.'s ex Laz Mernana shows up again when the Kims are on her homeworld of Kestallan (for work, natch). This wasn't a gentle parting of the ways either—Kim D. greets her with a slap that was five years in the making. Laz and Kim D. try to patch up the dumpster fire that was the end of their relationship. But Laz has other motives in mind, not just to mess with Kim D.'s heart, but with that sweet sweet bounty paycheck too.
The title Love is a Battlefield is spot-on for this miniseries because who ever said love of any kind is ever easy? Kim and Kim have their own little disagreements (especially over money), but in the end, it's just a battle, and they're back to drinking and soup and the van as if nothing happened. And the reunion with Kim D. and Laz is not all combustible; five years of shared memories and inside jokes don't just disappear when the relationship ends. There's a tender moment or two that we've all shared with our exes when you meet them by chance in Starbucks and the desire to throat punch them passes.
This second miniseries is also self-contained, and the only common thread between Love is a Battlefield and the first miniseries are the characters themselves. So this is great for new fans to jump on and get right into the action without having several pages of exposition. As a fan of the first miniseries, though, I would have liked to have seen some of the plots, such as Kim Q.'s family drama, pick up again. But there are still three issues to go...
The real star of Kim and Kim is the story. You have a full plot that keeps things moving and makes you laugh. Visaggio writes as if you're hearing this story with your best pals over whiskey at your favorite dive bar, with little touches of a Greek chorus effect to echo what you're probably thinking in the back of your head already.
Saying just what you were thinking
Let's talk about colors for a moment, though, because that is the secondary star. Claudia Aguirre brings us the punk Jem and the Holograms style that was all over the first series (I might be asking my stylist to give me a fuchsia streak in my hair a la Kim Q.), but something about it seems older, wiser. The girls haven't lost their edge, but the use of cooler palettes mixed in with the neon suggests a little more self-confidence and a little less drama—but just a little less. This is Kim and Kim, after all, and drama always follows their van.
Is punk pastel a thing? Can we make it a thing? Because I want it to be a thing.
And be sure to read the afterword by Elle Collins, for it underscores the significance of Kim and Kim to the LGBTQ community (my favorite excerpt below):
But whereas queer superheroes tend to be locked into that one partner, real queer people often have multiple partners... Queer people have bitter exes, awkward longterm crushes, people they've flirted with for years but it never quite happened. Queer people have friendships with other queer people that are 100 percent platonic. In comics like Midnighter, Batwoman, and yes, Kim and Kim, we finally see queer characters who occupy entire queer universes.
This is the genius of Kim and Kim: queer characters and their stories that are part of the whole story, not just the story of those queer characters. I hope the ladies have some room in the back of the van and a extra cup of Thing-O-Soup because I'm coming along for the ride once again. But don't worry, I have gas money.