In Review: Patience! Conviction! Revenge! #3

Skeevy heroics have never been so entertaining.

The cover: Down in the bottom left Robot Paul is looking at several video screens in Whitely Quinn’s Winner’s Coven Casino & Hotel, with Mr. Whitey and Chief of Security Death by Torture Bot in the bottom right corner. The screens show Renny reaching out to Marisol’s hand as they are falling from the sky with two killer flying bots in pursuit. This action cover by interior artist Marco Ferrari with Patrizia Comino is an actual scene in this issue, which is something I enjoy seeing on the front of books. I like it even more when it doesn’t spoil any part of the book. It’s great due to the comedic poses of the two protagonists and Robot Paul looking nervous, and the tease of the antagonists. Overall grade: A-

The story: Patrick Kindlon’s story begins with Marisol and Renny verbally sparring while speaking over Robot Paul’s com unit. She’s telling the bot she’s disappointed in him, while Renny is ticked off with the bot for shooting him with a tranquilizer dart. As the humans bicker, the interiors are shown of Whitey Quinn’s Winner’s Coven Casino & Hotel which includes children, hookers, pickpockets, and a poor gambler who craps out and then has a heart attack. Sick of the two bickering, Robot Paul shuts off his com so he can continue on his mission within. Renny’s anger rises as Marisol comments he can’t control his own constructions. He counters by demanding she sit in the space he’s set aside for captives. She replies, “I’m not sitting in your chalk outline cell and you’re not losing me until you make some f***ing recompense on my business you destroyed.” The story is split between these two who go out on a mission to rescue an acquaintance of Renny’s and Robot Paul applying for a position, getting to be interviewed by Mr. Whitey who seems a bit unsure of the bot. There are some really funny lines between Renny and Marisol, with profanity perfectly punctuating their venom toward one another. Their fighting stops with an arrival and announcement on Page 11. The action that follows is great and provides a great counter to Paul and Whitey, which then takes over for the humorous dialogue. I’m impressed with the action, the humor, and how the things spin wildly out of control for Renny. The cliffhanger is also really good. This is fun. Overall grade: A

The art: Also impressive is the art by Marco Ferrari. The first page is devoted to showing characters in the casino and it sets the tone for the unpleasant setting, increasing with every panel. The poor gambler has so much go wrong for him so quickly, it was sad and undeniably funny. Pages 2 and 3 is a double-paged splash that shows the vista of the casino. There’s more detail on 2 than 3, but that’s because Robot Paul is on a second level looking down onto the floor, which is covered in a haze. The clientele is skeevy. Renny’s introduction comes at the top of Page 4 and that one image sums up who he is succinctly. The same can also be said of Marisol who appears in the second panel; with one hand on her hip and her brow furled telling the reader she’s not a happy camper and that she’s confident to do what she wants to get what she wants. In short, they are perfect visually opposite characters. I like how she’s pointing her finger at him in her remaining panels on the page, while he ends the fourth page rolling his eyes to heaven. The action on 7 is good, with it resembling the style of Manga. The full-paged splash on 8 shows Marisol at her strongest and she is great. There’s a nice inclusion of humor in the illustration with her right cheek. The back and forth between Robot Paul and Whitey is great with six panels increasing the tension by showing each from different points of view. The visual reaction at the end of 11 is funny. The action on 12 and 13 is excellent because of the movement Ferrari creates for the characters, with the flying vehicle not going as smoothly as one would expect. 14 and 15 is another double-paged splash and it’s difficult to make out because of the dark colors on everything save Renny and his vehicle. The last panel on 18 has Robot Paul looking as though he’s widened his eyes, for a comedic effect, but he hasn’t. The last page is a full-paged splash that’s wonderfully explosive. Overall grade: A-

The colors: The colors created for the casino by Patrizia Comino are garish and overpowering. The reds, blues, and tans reminded me of Vegas instantly. The smoke that covers most of Page 3 screamed Vegas in any era. Notice on the second page that Robot Paul is white to have him stand apart from the riffraff — very smart. Blues are used for the interiors of Renny and Marisol’s location, allowing their coloring to stand out. I like the use of green on 7, which is a color not often used for action, but it works here because of the blue background. On Page 12 the humans go outside and violets and blue are used to create the night. This is initially okay because the art is still easy to make out in this faux darkness, but it does not work on 14 and 15 with the violets and grays blending together too much. I do like the orange and yellow on the final page for the action and the sound, which comes off as enormous. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Jim Campbell creates the transmissions, robot speech, dialogue, sounds, computer text, and the three word tease for next issue. The first page goes back and forth between transmissions and Robot Paul with none of the speakers on the page. Even if the characters didn’t have different shaped dialogue balloons the lettering is differed so the reader can visually see at least two different individuals are speaking. The sounds are abundant in this issue with several of them looking as fun as they are to read aloud. The design of the letters for the tease at the end sets them apart from all the text in this issue and are full of energy, compelling the reader to return in thirty days. Overall grade: A

The final line: Skeevy heroics have never been so entertaining. The protagonist is driven to a fault and now he’s joined by a female sidekick who wants reimbursement for the destruction of last issue. The dialogue between Robot Paul and a gangster is funny, with the poor mechanical creature in a precarious situation. The visuals are a trippy amalgamation of Heavy Metal and Manga-like artwork. It’s detailed, furious, and funny. There’s so much to like in this book, it’s almost enough to make you forget that the lead is a such terrible person. This is a great guilty pleasure. Overall grade: A-

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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