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Several things have ruined Bullseye over the years. The first being the Daredevil movie in which Colin Farrell wore a stupid trench coat, shaved his head and carved a bullsye on his forehead. Since then he’s been used and misused countless times. If you ever needed a one shot villain it was Bullseye. Then Warren Ellis added him to the Thunderbolts and he was back his former glory the Kevin Smith restored him to previously. After that he became Hawkeye and then was killed by Daredevil in Shadowland. Then came “The Perfect Game” finally a story not written by Daniel Way and drawn by someone equally as bad.
The “Perfect Game” is a story told from the point of view of memorabilia collector. Not just any collect, but one that collect very rare items. The story goes as such: Bullseye, like any good assassin has an agent that field’s job offers to him. Bullseye being Bullseye likes to take jobs that are challenging to him, but also insulting to the people spectating the murder.
He takes a job to kill a professional baseball pitcher that has pissed some people off and run up a debt nothing major to the world, but enough to have a hit put out on him. Even though the job offers little to no money Bullseye takes the job, due to the challenge. You see he wants to kill the pitcher with baseball pitch. Some might ask, “Where’s the challenge in that?” Well he wants to kill him with a pitch thrown from him in the middle of a baseball game that he’s pitching for.
Bullseye being the perfectionist disguises himself as a pitcher and goes to work throwing fast balls that no one can hit for the most part. After all Bullseye can kill a man with his own teeth by bouncing them off a wall, why couldn’t he throw fastballs to strike a man out for nine innings? And that’s where the story becomes real.
Writer Charlie Huston (Moon Knight) takes the most realistic approach to this situation as humanly possible. Bullseye can’t simply show up and throw fastballs and get picked up for the majors to go up against the guy. No he has to dedicate a year of his life to making it there. He conditions himself to be able to throw so many pitches, something he’s never had to do before. Then just as he’s getting it, he realizes he must teach himself to be someone else. To throw and write like someone else.
Essentially he reinvents himself for the sake of the job and the challenge. Soon enough he’s picked up by a minor league team and eventually does well enough to be traded around until he ends up in the bull pin of a major league team. But he’s never called up. After all he’s old and even though he’s a top player in the world of killers and super villains, he’s ancient in the world of baseball. So he does what he does best and kills off his competition until he finally gets to play.
After nearly a year he finally gets his chance to take the guy out, but he thinks of an even better moment to do so. To pitch a perfect game and kill him at the very end when the crowd and the drama is at their highest. So he passes on his chance and waits until the two teams meet again. Once more they face off and sure enough he has a perfect game going. The problem is… so does his intended victim. It comes down the ninth inning and the moment is perfect. Bullseye is finally going to pull the trigger and kill the other pitcher as the entire word is turning into the game. But then something occurs to Bullseye, if he kills him now then the victim will still have a perfect game and Bullseye will look like second best.
If my summary of the two issue mini has captured your attention at all then I highly recommend that you pick up this book and see for yourself why it’s one of, if not the best Bullseye stories ever told. Huston does more for this character than anyone since Kevin Smith and definitely repairs all the damage done to him during the Siege and Shadowland (except for the breathing part).
What Huston manages to do is make Bullseye a real character, with goals and a methodology that other writers have been completely missing. They like to make him Marvel’s Joker, but he’s the farthest thing from him. Whereas the Joker is unpredictable when approached in person, Bullseye is going to try and kill you. No question about it, he’s going to try and murder you. That doesn’t mean he’ll succeed, but he’s going to try and use anything and everything to do so.
What Huston gets is that nothing Bullseye does is an accident. He leaves very little to chance, but he makes everything look effortless and sometimes he’ll make it look like an accident. But it’s all planned. If it looks like chance that means he’s using that to his advantage to play another angle against you.
Another element of this story and basically the foundation to this story is Baseball. Huston fills the pages with so many baseball facts and stats that at times you forget that it’s a story about Bullseye. Sure some people will probably be put off by this and even bored reading the detailed factoids that Huston presents. What they’ll miss is a very intricate story that’s being developed beneath all of that information.
“The Perfect Game” is a great experiment in the world of comics and it’s largely successful even if the sales weren’t. When Marvel brings Bullseye back to life, the next writer will be hard pressed to accomplish something better than what Huston has done with this mini. If Marvel is smart they’ll use the attitude and personality that Huston has developed for the character as the new direction for him when he returns. For me this two issue mini became an instant classic and by far the best Bullseye story I’ve read. The best part of this “new classic” is that it’s only two months old and as such should be easy to find.