Thursday, June 26, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Wildcats Version 3.03

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's Wildcats Version 3.0. New posts Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

This issue focuses almost exclusively on the CC Rendozzo storyline as we pick up where we left last issue: Grifter and Wax in the sewer, trying to track down a rogue FBI agent that's grown in a vat when CC Rendozzo and her muscle show up with guns out. Casey has some fun with the cliche nature of this exchange, having Wax say stuff like "THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE? YOU'RE A BUNCH OF THIEVES...? / ANOTHER CLICHE..." and, when Rendozzo points a gun at his head, he mutters "OH, FOR GOD'S SAKE..." while rolling his eyes. A lot of the dialogue is both sides posturing for the sake of the other; lots of "You think this is the first time I've had a gun pulled on me?" and "I know all about you and you're not that great." It's mildly amusing, but also points to situations like these being nothing but worn-out cliches that fail to entertain. How many times have you see Grifter shoot some guys? This book is supposed to be past that, but it can't move on because of convention--but it can mock the convention.

The stand-off is resolved by a sonic pulse. Grifter and Wax wake up on Rendozzo's compound with all problems solved--they'll all work together on this. They'll all track down the rogue agent and then... who knows? It's obviously a delaying action by Casey, but allows the plot to move forward.

We also get some insight into Rendozzo's little family with Ramon, her tech guy, a test tube baby who's now, like, ten and an obvious substitute for her son, who we'll get to in a few issues. Again, though, Casey plays with the family...

Including the "nuclear family," which is introduced in this issue. They have Agent Orange (the rogue agent and Grifter's favourite guy in the world, if you'll remember) and seem right out of a '50s sitcom. A stay-at-home mom, a dad who works in an office of some kind, two kids... it's all so nice. Their true nature is revealed in an issue or two.

Casey includes a two-page scene where Jack Marlowe walks off of the Halo building and ascends to space to ponder things while gazing at the world. Exactly what he sees we don't know. But, his next appearance in the issue is at a restaurant where Garfield and Dolby are having some drinks--and complaining about Marlowe (or, Garfield is). Marlowe shows up via holographic projection right in the middle of their table. Marlowe is bold and fearless it seems in showing off his abilities.

The issue ends with a commercial for the new Halo car battery. Things progress and the car battery is very important.

This issue advances a few things, but isn't spectacular, particularly with regards to the ideas I'm interested in. Still, some interesting things happen, I suppose.