Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Script: Paul Cornell
Art: Tony Parker
Release Date: 2nd December, 2015
After what I called “undoubtedly the funniest issue of the series so far”, Paul Cornell and Tony Parker’s This Damned Band slips back into the slightly more uneven tone of the first three chapters here. Gone is the gloriously dark humour of Kev with a shotgun hunting Euro Gangsters, replaced instead by gangs of possessed roadies viciously beating down a scantily-clad female groupie. At this point, it’s difficult to really get a handle on the series, given the fact that the tone seems to ebb and flow almost from issue to issue, with the result being that I have absolutely no idea what direction Cornell and Parker are going to take with their conclusion.
There are still some great moments to be had along the way, however, such as Alice’s exchange with the documentary team and the gloriously over-the-top reveal in the final few pages, but once again the constantly shifting tone makes it difficult to know how the reader should be taking what’s happening. Should we be concerned? Horrified? Amused? At this point it’s fairly difficult to tell, and while the premise itself has near limitless potential, it still hasn’t quite hit the mark just yet – despite sporadic moments of storytelling and artistic genius along the way.
Much like the tone of the series, Parker’s artwork is also a lot more uneven here, with some uncharacteristically awkward looking facial expressions and occasionally confusing panels. He does redeem himself though, particularly during the latter stages of the issue, with the final page in particular being worthy of additional praise.
Overall then, while the characters themselves are intriguing, amusing and wildly entertaining, there’s still something that’s preventing This Damned Band from realising its true potential. Flicking back and forth between Spinal Tap-esque rockumentary hilarity and supernatural devil worshipping sounds like a great idea in principle, but to this point, the execution has been a little jarring. That said, there’s no denying the fact that the good still outweighs the bad so far, and this is definitely still a series with a lot to like about it, particularly as it heads into what should be, one way or another, a truly memorable finale.
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