Thursday, September 10, 2015

BODYCOUNT #3 – May 1996

Credits:  Kevin Eastman (story & layouts), Simon Bisley (pencils & inks), Steve Lavigne (letters & colors), Altered Earth Arts (computer colors)

Pizza-Free Summary:  Casey, Raphael, and Midnight escape with Courtney.  As the authorities close in on Johnny Woo Woo, Courtney takes the group to an abandoned church to meet the mysterious Martin.  Martin tells Midnight that she is “our” champion, but she’ll have to fight before she sees Sanctuary.  Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Lord Dong boasts that he will soon reunite East and West.  Johnny Woo Woo and his men invade Martin’s church, not long before the authorities and Dong’s personal army also arrive.  As Woo Woo massacres Martin’s men, Casey and Raphael raid their weapons closet and join the fray.

Continuity Notes:  Casey Jones finds his patriotic mask, the one he wears in the upcoming Image Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, inside Martin’s weapons closet.  For the record, Casey states that he hates guns, while Raphael decides this issue he loves them.

Not Approved By The Comics Code Authority:  More graphic violence, more profanity, and now nipple pokes make an appearance on literally every female character in the issue.

I Love the ‘90s:  Raphael’s opinion of the dilapidated church, “Looks like something outta that Crow flick!”

Review in a Half-Shell:  In fairness, the mindless violence is slightly less mindless this time.  This issue hints that Midnight is more than just the victim of a routine mob hit, and that she has some preordained destiny that places her in-between Lord Dong and the mysterious Martin.  Unfortunately, Martin is so “mysterious” that nothing he says comes across as coherent, while Lord Dong’s true motivation remains unknown.  (And if you think a cheap joke is made at the expense of Lord Dong’s name, you’re right.)  Making this more frustrating is the lettering, which has been filled with typos and missing commas for the series’ entire run.  This issue also suffers from some confusing balloon placement that ruins the flow of dialogue in a few scenes.  So, there’s a hint of a story now, but due to the choppy writing and lack of proofreading, piecing together what it’s supposed to be is simply annoying.

Simon Bisley delivers his best work of the mini so far this issue.  He’s given a wider variety of things to draw this time, so even if the reader still has to endure the numerous repetitive pages of people shooting at each other, the backgrounds look great.  The landscapes and architecture add some life to the book, and Bisley’s cartoony interpretations of the various armed goons are much more charming this time.  He’s obviously working from a weak plot, and I still find his female characters unappealing, but he does seem to be enjoying himself this issue.

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