Here we go again … and I think that by finishing these issues, I’m about halfway through my collection of Badger comics that I pulled out of the quarter bins at my LCS. So far, I haven’t hated this title, but I confess that I haven’t exactly thought it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. Will my tune change as I make my way through the middle of the series?
Well, we’re still hanging with the same creative team of Mike Baron on words, Bill Reinhold on pencils, and Jim Sanders on inks, and that artwork is okay at times but sometimes reminds me of the artwork that the late Bill Jaaska did when he took over the art chores on New Titans with issue #100 of that title. This is way more coherent than Jaaska’s (and I will maintain that there are times when Jaaska’s artwork suffers from either the inking or the coloring because there’s the occasional page or issue of that series where I see why they chose him to pencil), but still is uneven and vacillates between the type of artwork that you’d see at the time from artists like Steve Erwin (who I believe was on Vigilante before taking the art chores on Deathstroke: The Terminator) and latter-day Carmine Infantino. And the stories continue to be … well, what they were. I will also note that issue #33 pencilled by Ron Lim and inked by Art Nichols and it’s Lim’s third professional credit (after an issue of Nexus and Marvel’s Psi Force). If I knew that Lim was coming to a convention near me, I’d take this to get it signed. And I should also give props to the gorgeous Steve Rude cover to issue #32 (which is the graphic for this post).
I’d say a high point of this batch of issues is #25, a story where this old woman–a former English teacher–writes to the Badger asking for his help because her new neighbors party and all she wants to do is live out her retirement on a lake feeding the ducks every day. And these guys are total rich guy asshats who terrorize her to the point where they wind up blowing up her house and Badger has to fight the oldest one, who is a professional wrestler. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed it because it was a bat-guano crazy storyline that had rich assholes getting a come-uppance.
Issues #30-32 is a three-party storyline involving a sensei and this crazy awesome bad guy fighter who defeats the Badger but then Badger trains and goes on a search for more power or something and then has to fight the guy again. It’s actually a pretty good play on most karate flicks of the late 1980s and I really wanted to see how it played out as I read it, so I think that I’ve found the type of Badger stories that I enjoy. They are either more real-world in their “villain of month” or they are clearly having fun with movie or story tropes. When Baron’s got him fighting random villains or traveling to some locale so he can fight stereotypical citizens of that place (i.e., Australia), I skim through the issues and tune them out.
So I’ll keep going–taking time between batches of issues has proven to be a decent idea, after all–and report back. But for now …
Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?
Sell or Donate.