We loved We Can Never Go Home, Patrick Kindlon, Matthew Rosenberg, and Josh Hood’s grounded take on young superheroes—it was one of last year’s best comics. While Rosenberg is moving on from Madison and Duncan, his next comic sounds equally dark and interesting: This is 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, making its debut exclusively on io9!
Like We Can Never Go Home, 4 Kids is a five part miniseries at Black Mask Studios, but it replaces the fantasy of superpowers with a darkly comedic take on the classic heist caper. The twist? The ones doing all the capering are a bunch of 11 year old kids.
Written by Matthew Rosenberg with art from Tyler Boss and letters from Thomas Mauer, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank follows Paige, a young girl who’s father is wrangled into helping some useless ex-cons rob a bank. Fearing their incompetence could land her dad in hot water, Paige recruits her dorky, D&D loving friends into pulling off the perfect heist themselves.
“4 Kids is something Tyler and I have wanted to do for a very long time,” Rosenberg told io9 over email. “I gave the first issue to a friend and they referred to it as ‘Wes Anderson’s version of Dog Day Afternoon.’ It combines a bunch of stuff I love—misfit coming-of-age tales, bizarre crime capers, and really dark comedy— into one very small story. We are definitely wearing our influences on our sleeves with this one, but hopefully we come out of this showing that we can make something fresh. Or at least that we have a lot of really weird influences people don’t expect.”
Although the series doesn’t delve into the fantastical like the superhero story of We Can Never Go Home, Rosenberg thinks fans of the series will feel right at home with Paige’s story. “Finishing We Can Never Go Home last year and seeing some folks really like what I enjoyed about it, the relationships of these flawed people, made me more determined to try and do more of that kind of thing. More small stories. I love superhero stuff, but the comics that get me inspired every time I read them are stuff like Love & Rockets, Stray Bullets, and the crime comics by Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis. There is so much humanity on those pages, without ever sacrificing those crazy thrills. That’s what we were going for.”
It might not have the superheroic action we loved in We Can Never Go Home, but we can’t wait for this one. 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank begins in April.