Jimmie Robinson Interview: Bomb Queen, The Villain We Deserve
Feb 15, 2021
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
Bomb Queen! Jimmie Robinson's twisted vision of the political landscape has been going strong for 20 years and counting. And depending on who you ask, that's a good thing.
In the following interview, we ask creator Jimmie Robinson to set the record straight on the oh-so crooked BOMB QUEEN! Let's find out more about that villain you love to hate and why she's taking on the President you love to hate in 2024...
PREVIEWSworld: I’m sure a lot of people misinterpret the Bomb Queen comic at first glance. Can you give those new to the book a quick idea of what the comic is about?
Jimmie Robinson: In short, Bomb Queen is a Super Villain book. Evil always wins and the good often loses. It reverses the typical superhero comic, but more importantly, it’s a very dark satire and a cautionary tale about what happens to society when a self-proclaimed villain is given control.
Society is mostly the same as Superman watches over Metropolis, Batman protects Gotham, and Spider-man patrols New York. However, Bomb Queen protects her city from the heroes and that changes the values of a society to the point where people don’t want a hero protecting their way of life… they want a villain!
And what's with the costume? I have to ask.
Yeah, her suit is outlandish on purpose. She’s a villain and that means she gets to go off the rails. Not just because she’s evil and doesn’t care about societal rules, but it establishes herself against the values that most heroes try to enforce. It’s also an in-joke about superhero costumes. I grew up on comics where the heroes were pretty much nude with spray-on spandex. I often thought if this is what the heroes are wearing what must the villains be wearing? So yeah, I really pushed the costume to the limit just to make a point…. And to make it iconic at the same time.
The comic has always targeted politics, what inspired that approach?
It involves politics because Bomb Queen rules a city of crime (New Port City) that’s sanctioned by the government. Congress allows Bomb Queen’s city to exist as a type of magnet for criminals, which helps keep the rest of America safe. The problem is America loves crime and that makes Bomb Queen’s city pretty powerful. Thus, the backstory is often how political figures try to regain control of her city.
Has the book itself ever been targeted because of content?
Oh yeah. This book is judged on the covers and notoriety. But that’s okay. It’s not made for everyone. That’s a problem some folks have with this series. They expect it to be accessible to a wide audience when it’s really refined for an acquired taste. I push the content on the covers and interiors like the height bar at an amusement park, you have to be “this big” to get on this ride, if not then step away. Because of that some retailers will shelve it with adult books, bag it, or put it behind the counter. Bomb Queen is NOT porn by any definition, but it resides in a gray area that makes people uncomfortable - not just for the sexual innuendo, but also the extreme violence. However, I think a lot of retailers and readers do “get it” and it has found a solid following. It’s not titillation and exploitation for the sake of fun, there is something being said here. Readers get that.
The comic has been around since Bush, Jr. Can you talk a bit about how Bush and Obama impacted the comic?
Yup, Bomb Queen was created during the Bush-era / Iraq war. It was a direct response to the government going off the rails with unchecked powers – from the birth of Homeland security to waterboarding in Guantánamo. When Obama took office he became a target because he would never allow Bomb Queen’s city to exist under his administration. When Trump took over it was like two villains fighting for the king of the hill. Now Biden / Harris are in the hot seat because they want to clean up all the things Trump did – which would include targeting the Queen, again. Remember Bomb Queen is only involved with anything that affects her directly. She doesn’t care about America’s economy or global-warming, she is hard-wired to protect her city and preserve her values (or lack of values) in her world.
You stepped away from the comic for a while. Was there a reason?
I simply had more stories to tell. I create, write, draw, color, letter, etc. It’s hard to do more than one title. I wanted to try other genres, other projects. Stretch my legs and explore. So I did a number of other mini-series with Image Comics. Five Weapons, The Empty, Power Lines, and some finished work that is still yet to be published.
Tell us about Ultimate Bomb Trump Card. What is the story about?
In a nutshell, this is Bomb Queen vs. Trump. But this is not like Trump getting superpowers and fighting in the streets with the Queen. This is more like a power grab because Bomb Queen was basically Trump BEFORE Trump. She existed and her power was amplified because of her support base. Bomb Queen is nothing without her city of crime. Heroes go into her town looking to clean it up and they can’t win because they are not fighting the Queen, they are fighting her CITY. When an ideology has the power it’s more than just cutting the head off the snake.
So Bomb Queen vs. Trump is really a battle for his supporters – which in this case is also HER supporters. This makes the story more about what has happened to America and less about superheroes and villains fighting it out in the streets. It’s a dark satire about society in America and what happens with idol worship, glorifying the villain, and the absurdity of today’s politics. Mix all that with the typical superhero tropes and it just becomes a self-aware satire.
How did Donald Trump ruin your initial story for Trump Card?
Oh man… how much time do you have? I swear I had so many story ideas that got tossed because every week Trump would do something that would just flip the tables. Ultimately, the ONLY way to figure out a story with Trump was to outdistance him. This is why the story is set in 2024 during the next election cycle. This way no matter what Trump said or did it would not affect my timeline or make it look like old news.
In Trump Card, Trump has already won the second election and he is trying to run for a third and even President for life. He amends the constitution and all he needs to do is win the election. But… that’s where Bomb Queen steps in (without spoiling it).
Is it true you had two endings? Can you tell us what changed about it?
Well, originally the entire series was scheduled with Image to end the month BEFORE the election. I wanted it to be like Marvel’s What If? What if Trump won a second term? How would that change the world of superheroes and villains? But, as we all saw in 2020, any plans people had were put on hold, and that included publishing and printing. When things calmed down a bit a new schedule was set up and the date for the end of the series ended up AFTER the election.
So I created another ending and waited with everyone else to see the results. But in true Trump fashion, even the so-called real-world ending was not the end. It got even worse when the Nation’s capitol was attacked and now a second impeachment on top of that. Go figure.
Any plans for Bomb Queen vs. Kamala and Joe?
Hahahahahh! Man, I was already thinking that when they got the nomination. But forget Biden, Bomb Queen would be more interested in Harris. Since she is partly from Asia (India) I could toss in some supernatural elements, or hidden powers based on Hindi gods, etc. I’m still thinking about it. The thing is the story still needs to be about Bomb Queen, not Harris. Usually what happens is that the target is USED in a way to benefit the Queen, like a criminal heist, not targeted just for the fun of it. I wouldn’t write a story ABOUT Harris. It would be a Queen story spun around Harris.
Is there a line? Something even Bomb Queen would not tackle?
That’s a two-part answer. The first answer is NO. There’s no limit on Bomb Queen’s vulgarity. She has no redline, no filter. The second part of the answer is YES because the comic still has to be sold in stores. I don’t want my publisher or any retailer to be harmed by Bomb Queen. It has an audience, it has a place in the spectrum of comics, but I’m not crossing that line just for sales.
Instead, I like to have fun with the obscenities. Nuances and euphemisms are sprinkled all through the series. I want it to be funny, dark, and satirical. The offbeat humor keeps it on the right side of the line – even when I’m clearly going over it.
Would you ever retire the character?
I’ve killed her twice, which is like retiring her. But like a bad penny, she keeps resurfacing, especially when current events pop up and the perfect story is just sitting in my lap. The backstory with Bomb Queen is that she can never truly be gone because she is a reflection of society. A twisted and distorted funhouse mirror, but still a reflection saying the things we don’t want to say, and pointing out the insanity we don’t want to acknowledge. Also, she is a clone. She was created by the government, like a Replicant in Blade Runner, as the ultimate prison warden, so basically, she can never truly be retired. Nobody has broken the mold, yet.
Who would you say Bomb Queen is for?
Cynics. People who see the glass half empty. Readers who are open-minded to see a story from a different POV. It’s not a nice story. It’s not a feel-good story. The character is evil. We should NOT like her. This is akin to the father who catches you smoking and forces you smoke the entire pack until you’re sick as an object lesson. Bomb Queen is not for everyone. Never has been. Never should be. This is not a Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, or Cat Woman type of villain that the reader can get behind. Bomb Queen is not an anti-hero. She is a shark working on instinct. She is a natural disaster. You don’t negotiate or try to understand a natural disaster…. you simply survive it. Thus, Bomb Queen is more a concept than a character. I make the book for readers who see that aspect of the series because that’s how I see it.
However, I will never tell anyone how to interpret what they read. Those who read Bomb Queen on the surface level are just as authentic as those who read deeper into it. But one thing is certain… it’s not like other books, so first make sure you’re tall enough to be on this ride.
Collects BOMB QUEEN VII #1-4 plus "Beyond Bomb Queen" a retrospective of JIMMIE ROBINSON's career and a preview of his new book, FIVE WEAPONS!
Not for the faint of heart, the squeamish or the kiddies, Bomb Queen is a hilarious political, social and sexual satire that takes no prisoners and offers no apologies.
Sexual, social and political satire that takes no prisoners, offers no quarter and will leave you rolling in the aisles with laughter! Not for the easily offended or the weak of heart.
Retailer Warning: Mature Readers only.
128 pages from the depraved mind of JIMMIE ROBINSON! Kids, DON'T show this one to your mom!
RETAILER WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES
In the twisted town of New Port City, the only thing the population of criminals and murderers need is the cruel icon of injustice and amoral behavior: Bomb Queen! But political outsider, Robert Woods, believes the citizens need peace and equality, so he does the unthinkable - brings a Hero to town. Will the war over New Port City bring democracy, or violent destruction?
Collects BOMB QUEEN #1-4, plus bonus material!
Collects BOMB QUEEN: ROYAL FLUSH #1-4, BOMB QUEEN II: QUEEN OF HEARTS #1-4 and BOMB QUEEN VS. BLACKLIGHT: CAT FIGHT (one-shot)
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes BAMN, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.