Tharg is on the cover this week to beckon in a bunch of penultimate issues and even a Future Shock. Future Shocks are hard to tackle, both for creators and readers. You get four pages to tell a story from start to finish and it ought to have a compelling twist. For the creator, that means finding a satisfactory way to move things along to the payoff, which usually involves starting things off smack in the middle of a particular world and situation. For the reader, unfortunately, it means you will probably leave disappointed unless the writer was really, really clever. Here, I thought the first two pages of the issue were very strong, even if the dialog was a little hammy. The twist was a bit of a shrugger, but that’s usually how these things go: either the shock kind of drags and the twist is great, or the shock quickly picks up and then sort of screeches to a “meh.”
Somebody make Commercial Break into a short film. I’m serious. The premise of the series has now proved to be fantastic, but it’s delivery is something special. I know it’s probably a little cliche for some: alien observes human behavior and hijacks a reliable way of reaching humans, doing so through some observed yet anachronistic means. But holy crap this is just so specific and creepy and quick and clever and wonderful. Brixels were made for the comic page, and yet I can’t help but want to actually see and hear the television commercial used to deliver the awesome (and awesomely horrifying) news to these characters. Robson and all the folks bringing his script to the page have translated our distinctively kitsch obsession with thingamajigs and the televised renderings thereof into what is already one of my favorite 3riller’s ever.
Things are turning very Icarus very quickly for Bud in Dredd. I’m obviously still rooting for Bud, despite the fact that I’m supposed to feel at least a little bad about it since he’s cheating the system. I’m looking forward to the resolution, and hoping that after all this crap Bud’s family ends up okay. “Breaking Bud” is obviously very Breaking Bad in this regard, albeit his wife isn’t as… not-quite-likeable as some certain other television show wives.