Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Script: Paul Cornell
Art: Tony Parker
Release Date: 4th November, 2015
After a bit of a shaky start, Paul Cornell and Tony Parker’s This Damned Band is finally starting to live up to the awesome potential of its premise, with this being undoubtedly the funniest issue of the series so far, not to mention the one which makes best use of the ‘rockumentary’ format.
Cornell’s writing is consistently sharp throughout. With the characters already firmly established over the first three issues, he now has the opportunity to focus more on the flow of the story while finding creative ways to display his wicked sense of humour. The bulk of this issue is crudely illustrated in a cartoony fashion by way of an “artist’s impression” of events gleamed from the band’s own accounts, which sounds a bit weird, but is absolutely magnificent in its execution.
With the film crew on the run from the Euro-gangsters, this device offers ample opportunity for artist Parker to get his ‘silly’ on, with over-exaggerated caricatures aplenty and some truly hilarious moments courtesy of everyone’s favourite band member (if perhaps not his own wife’s), Kev. Parker also throws in some great visual touches along the way, such as the camera crew ‘censoring’ the identities of the already-masked gangsters, and Clive fleeing from danger with his arms still in the air.
This issue also sees the larger story come sharply into focus, shifting from meandering self-indulgent rock star navel-gazing and band politics to fully embracing the supernatural aspect of the series. The relatively slow pacing thus far is now paying off in spades, as these wonderfully over-the-top characters are now gradually realising just what they’ve gotten into (some of them, at least), and while the ‘groupies’ are still the only ones who really have a clue what’s going on, the remainder of this series is chock full of potential.
If the first couple of issues of this series were the equivalent of Spinal Tap wandering endlessly through the bowels of the stadium, these last two chapters have seen them finally take the stage to belt out a roof-raising performance of “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight”, laying the groundwork for what should be one hell of a finale.
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