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My Review For Bad Guys #4, "Louse"...
Well, I just picked up my copy. It was the last copy on the shelf (though the clerk couldn't remember how many copies they got in, so maybe that doesn't mean much). Anyway, on to my review...
I love LOVE the 'Daily Tattler' cover. It is fun, relates to a minor series detail and most of all, it is colorful, which has been one of my main complaints about the Bad Guys covers so far, they've been too drab. So, yeah, very cool.
The content itself is spectacular. The writing is awesome. I love how the Louse theme plays throughout. What is most striking to me about this issue though is how contrasting it is. Dark at times, light at other times... I guess you could say this issue is very black and white... hahaha... But seriously, the light moments and the dark are mixed so well.
Lets start with the lighter moments I loved: Dingo and Matrix's relationship is a lot of fun to watch. I particularly loved Matrix "dumping" Dingo in Times Square and laughed out loud at Matrix as the ball dropping at midnight. Sevarius and Fang are hilarious. It can be hard at times to 'hear' the voices of some characters, but the way Sevarius is written (not to mention the spectacular job Tim Curry did with the character in the TV series) allows me to hear him so well. He is such a ham. I love how the science is fun, the money is better, but his biggest motivation is the drama. Good stuff. Fang is just fun to watch... sometimes. I found myself hating him one moment and laughing at his antics a few frames later. I guess he really puts into perspective that some jokes are funny and some are just so inappropriate. His sheepish "I'm not! I'm really not [worth it]!" and sarcastic "Guess who just made the team?!" are a lot of fun. His (again, and thankfully interrupted) lightbulb joke was so awful it almost makes me sick.
Which leads me to the darker moments. Mere hours before I went to pick up my copy of this issue, I was talking to a coworker about Gargoyles and its continuation in comic form. He is a comic fan himself and liked that the Gargoyles comic allowed the series to gain a darker edge. Of course, I found out after reading the book just how dark it has gotten. Suicide and a near-execution. Yikes. Heavy stuff. Not that I'm complaining. I love that the series is so realistic. Tasha's suicide is just so sad. But I can believe it. I can see what drove her to it. I don't think it was her only option or that she should've done it, I guess I can just sympathize. In many ways, I see Tasha as the Maggie that almost was. Maggie the Cat wanted to be human again, desperately so, but she discovered she probably never would be and it was only through Derek's support that she was able to keep going. Maybe Tasha didn't have anybody. Which makes it all the more tragic and upsetting. Fang sees the tragedy for a moment and then turns it off. Maybe he is using humor as a shield, I don't know, but making a joke like he did at that moment was one of the most despicable things in all of Gargoyles. It really made me hate him a bit. Which is why I can totally understand why someone as honorable as Yama would attack him and even feel like killing him in cold blood. I mean, Yama nearly decapitates Fang. Woah. This whole scene is so powerful and really changed my mindset on something. I used to think that the relationship between Fang and Yama would be this funny, almost brotherly, series of wise-cracks and rebuttals, but they'd always be teammates and perhaps, deep down, even friends. Now I can see that there is some very serious and ugly background here. I don't know if they will ever really get along, cooperate maybe, but friendship? It'd have to really be down the road. And my thoughts of Fang are so altered now too. He used to be a smart-ass, but now I just think he's an asshole, sorry about the language.
Anyway, for good or bad, Dingo and Hunter talk Yama down from executing Fang. We get another "whisper in the ear" moment (damn you, Greg!). I like to think that Hunter reminded Yama of his quest to regain his honor and that killing Fang in cold blood wouldn't be honorable at all. Maybe Yama thought of Sora and proving himself to her, his clan and himself.
Details I liked in "Louse":
- The close comradery between Hunter and Yama. The irony here is so fun and yet so believable. I love that Yama questions Hunter's inaction when attacked by Fang and how he calmly calls her fragile. I love the looks the give each other throughout the issue.
- I found the remark Yama makes about scents to be really interesting. We finally make clear how important the sense of smell is to gargoyles. Yama instantly knows Fang isn't a gargoyle, even though he doesn't look all that different from, say, Leo. Instead he reeks of fish, humanity and ozone, due to his genetic make-up and abilities. Good stuff. Very interesting.
- I like how Sevarius mentions the name Robyn Correy. A name I didn't expect to hear again much, but a nod toward the two meeting before.
- The new mutates are interesting. I wonder who this client is that wants an army of armored mutates? Story for another day, I suppose. Meanwhile, we get an aardvark, woodlouse, turtle and crocodile (the shape and tooth placement of Thug's snout leads me to think Sevarius used croc rather than alligator DNA) mutates. Glad the survivors are off to the Labyrinth. It'll be fun to watch what they do down the road.
- Happy to see the term "Gargate" finally used in the series and I can't blame Sevarius for wondering what would happen to a human mutated with gargate DNA and vice versa, not that I think it is a good idea to experiment, but can't help but be curious. It was neat to see Sevarius putting the cell samples he extracted from Angela in "Monsters" to use. And threatening to inject Hunter with garg DNA is one way to really piss her off apparently, not that I'm surprised.
- Dingo/Matrix's short circuits were really funny.
- Hunter's radio briefing with the mysterious "Sir" is cool too. I like how she knows that Fang isn't a good fit, probably in part because the animosity between him and Yama. I also really like how Dingo questions WHO isn't a good fit. Himself? Thug? I like that Dingo thought Thug might be joining up. Instead it is Fang, to Dingo's surprise and Yama's fury. I gotta say though that we are (for the moment) missing a scene here. I hope down the road we get to see Hunter offering the carrot and stick to Fang. I can hear him now... "Oh, maaaan!"
Awesome issue. Bad Guys continues to pull my emotions every-which way and keeps me desperate for more. Can't wait for #5!
Armadillo not aardvark. Saving aardvark for someone special.