Script: Paul Cornell
Art: Tony Parker
Release Date: 7th October, 2015
After suffering a bit of a stumble in the previous issue, This Damned Band hits its stride here, finally starting to capitalise on the potential of its brilliant premise. Cornell’s writing has always been sharp and filled with black humour, but he also does a terrific job here of inserting some much-needed emotional depth into the proceedings. Not from the band themselves, you understand – they’re far too self-absorbed for any of that sort of bollocks – but rather from the groupies, who find themselves mourning the mysterious disappearance of one of their own.
The supernatural aspect of the book is a little vague at the moment, possibly intentionally so, allowing us to focus on the interactions, and increased level of bickering, between the band members. In true rock star fashion, everyone has their own idea of what the best direction to take the band is (except Kev, who seems to be more or less catatonic since his ‘vision’), and the clashing of egos is handled in comically over-exaggerated style.
As a side note, I really enjoyed the fact that the documentary crew themselves are taking a larger role here, injecting some extra humour to the proceedings with their reluctance to become involved and their continual assertions that they’re “not here”.
Parker’s art remains solid and packed with expression and detail, although some of his characters appear to be slightly out of sync with Cornell’s words, occasionally screaming or wildly gesticulating when the dialogue doesn’t seem to reflect it. A minor niggle perhaps, as for the most part the artwork is definitely the strongest suit of the series so far, with the gloriously over-the-top fashion and debauched rock star excess all illustrated beautifully.
Overall, while it hasn’t quite peaked yet – for me, at least – This Damned Band is finally starting to live up to its promise, delivering a humorous and intriguing issue which opens up a lot of possibilities for the rest of the series. It’s worth mentioning that in my previous review, I mistakenly mentioned that this was a four-part series, and want to clarify that this is actually set to run for six issues, giving me a far more positive outlook about the pacing thus far. If you like you outlandish rock and roll depravity with a slightly supernatural twist, then This Damned Band is definitely worth checking out.
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