Bad Dog as American decadence

I planned on getting three comics today.

I got one, and it was none of the three. It was Joe Kelly and Diego Greco's "Bad Dog" from Image Comics.

Why Bad Dog? Firstly, I like dogs.

Secondly, it's about a werewolf who has so much disdain for people that he stays a werewolf.

Thirdly, I'm tired of getting disappointed by some superhero comics.

Fourthly, the werewolf has a foul-mouthed jerk for a buddy.

Fifthly, they hunt people for bounties ("bounty hunter," which isn't as cool as it sounds -- you just find people who evade tax and then arrest them. Meh.)

ENSUE HILARITY (and possibly a review):

Bad Dog #1

by Joe Kelly and Diego Greco

This is 36 pages of story, with no ads, for $3.99. Make of that what you will.

A good number of the pages here are designed to create and build an atmosphere, and boy, what an atmosphere it is! This story doesn't take place in the mean streets of America's urban jungle. Likewise, it doesn't take place in some wild fantasy land, or a galaxy far, far away.

It takes place in Arizona, where people turn to the nearest bar to drown their sorrows away. And that'd be 20 miles away. It takes place where a mother sets fire on her children because she "didn't get her anti-depressant meds." Turn the corner, and you'll find a pack of wolves howling at the Moon. You can howl with them. Turn it again, and you'll see a Vietnam vet talking about how he lost his arm. Nobody cares.

Joe Kelly seamlessly builds up this moral decline in America through his characters's lives as bounty hunters. American decadence plays such an important backdrop for our characters, and this is something that I really liked.

As for the characters, Lou (the werewolf) carries this kind of stiff melancholy about him. You know there's something sad in him, but he doesn't want to let it come out. His life is so fantastic (as a werewolf), but it seems tragic at the same time.

That is some heavy stuff.

Then you have Lou's partner, who cusses every other word, yet he's the one who always uses Christian language. He's the one who calls everyone else "motherless heathens" and "sinners."

The end of this issue is tough. There's no easy way to approach it, and that is the kind of stuff I want. At the end of some comics, I just feel like it hasn't really done anything. The end of this first issue, gets you thinking. Whether the guy really got what was coming to him. Whether it was fair.

These kinds of things --American decadence, tragedy in fantasy, a seeming sinner paradox-- have most likely been done before, but I don't really care. This is fresh for me; it's telling me something new; it's challenging me, and I definitely want to read the next issue.

1 comment:

Sea_of_Green said...

Ha! I like Lou so far. Maybe I should check this out when I have a chance ...!

Stats a-go-go