Saturday, August 09, 2008

Joe Casey Comics: Wildcats Version 3.21

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's Wildcats Version 3.0. Next week is the final week of the series with posts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

I really like this cover. The use of negative space is wonderful. I also enjoy how the final issues have that standard trade dress at the top of the cover. The only thing that ruins the cover are the little "®"s after Zealot and Coda. Except, they don't really ruin the cover, do they? In fact, could the little "®"s enhance the thematic underpinnings of the comic? The conceptions of corporate ownership... what are their relationships to art? Casey hasn't touched on that, has he? Here, the relationship is quite clear: it fucks it up. How goddamn stupid do the little "®" symbols look there? At least the bar code doesn't fuck things up too much. No, the corporate concerns mess up the artistic ones--I wonder, did they alter the direction of the book at all? Casey got a look at the sales and figured that "Coda War One" would maybe help things out, that maybe readers weren't quite ready for corporate intrigue, discussions about technological advancements that don't involve blowing things up, and non-cliched storytelling? Does the book end on a sour note as a result of corporate concerns? Is the overall artistic merit of the title compromised because of sales? Is the cover really made less attractive by little "®" symbols? And, why oh why am I babbling about this nonsense?

Because there isn't much else to discuss. This issue does offer up one bit of interest: Agent Wax (acting as Agent Downs, of course) cooperates with an interagency task and responds with the correct code word when someone phones him. That's all he has to do... and he's authorised the assassination of Jack Marlowe. Also, the so-called perfect life of Wax/Downs isn't so perfect as things are getting a little snippy with Miriam--perhaps Wax is learning that life isn't quite so simple, that it isn't so easy to maintain perfection and affection when things come up?

The rest of the issue is Coda stuff. Grifter and his group are in Europe where they hunt down some Coda and businessmen and it's all very interesting... And the Coda hate Zealot and she hates them...

Next issue: the attempted assassination of Jack Marlowe.