Review by Frank Plowright
Far more so than superheroes, graphic novels whose primary purpose is sex service fantasies, those of the creators and the readers, and there’s a consideration that treating them as such means they’re a harmless indulgence for the open minded. That is as long as any participation is willing. Every reader will have their own idea of where the sexual exploits depicted in Ramba go too far. It’s hoped there aren’t too many unable to consider any line has been crossed during the series. Fantasy or otherwise, volume two wildly overstepped the mark by introducing the subject of rape, then lingering on it gratuitously, and there’s further grim association of sex with violence to be found here. It’s inventive and it’s horrible, but occupies only single panels rather than pages, and as such involves a personal decision. Is it acceptable villainy in what are exaggerated James Bond style adventures with plenty of sex, or are any such depictions of sadistic violence unacceptable?
That content occupies the two part finale to the Ramba series, whereas the opener is the nearest the series comes to relatively ordinary sex, with just the single man on hand to service Ramba and her near insatiable appetites. It’s also the only chapter in the series where Rossano Rossi doesn’t send Ramba on a killing mission. After that she gets to meet 1980s Italian porn star La Cicciolina and assassinate a union leader before being asked to track down a young woman who appears to have been abducted by a sex cult. Or did she join willingly?
As previously Rossi manages to combine well plotted crime and murder stories with hefty doses of sex that must between them surely cover most legal desires. Mario Janni and Marco Delizia each illustrate two chapters. They have broadly similar naturalistic styles, and both successfully combine the erotic with a glamorous version of the real world and good action illustration.
If easily offended by sexual content, Ramba isn’t the graphic novel for you, and even the more open minded may want to think twice. In terms of sex with actual thriller story few erotic graphic novels match Ramba’s quality.