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I Didn’t Buy a Lot of Comics This Week: Jog is quick with the 8/15 review, since it’s now 8/20

Joe McCulloch

But then, I didn’t get to review issue #1 of this over here. Also: this series reminds me so much of The Winter Men, which was a really nice series, and still has a long-lost final issue to go, and I wish it’d be out soon.

The Programme #2 (of 12): Well, I suppose you can tell whether an issue of soap opera is for you by your reaction to “Get out of my sight before I tell daddy to load his shotgun and blow your lousy Jew-loving head off!

Which is an actual line uttered by a jilted lover to her formerly straight-arrow boyfriend, who met a pretty Jewish girl, got called a fascist, dropped acid and woke him up to how America’s supersoldier program is bad bad bad. The boy later turns some subversive dials on the supersoldier machine, heads for Canada, writes books on American imperialism, but then gets dragged back home by the CIA to tend to our errant superman, who probably ought to beat up the Soviet villain flying around the Middle East.

This brand of high-pitched melodrama and ultra-blunt politics won’t appeal to everyone, and it doesn’t entirely appeal to me, particularly since artist C.P. Smith, when faced with long stretches of dialogue, has a Tony Harris type of habit for broad facial expressions and exaggerated body acting, which never quite work for me in as heavily realist a character art style as this, even when colorist Jonny Rench splashes it all with as many garish hues as he can manage. I still think the interplay between realist character art and splashy color/shadow work gives the book a unique feel, energizing Peter Milligan’s script with a lot of extra nervous energy, but this chapter suggests that maybe the series needs to lean heavily on the fantastic in its story content, so as to better serve its visual aesthetic.

Still, I can’t complain too much with exchanges like:

The Spirit of Lenin! Whoever came up with that name should have been shot.”

He probably was.”

OKAY, and I wait to see how it goes.

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