Script: Paul Cornell
Art: Tony Parker
Release Date: 6th December, 2016
While This Damned Band has always been a series that wore its weirdness like a badge of honour, this final issue sees writer Paul Cornell taking things to a whole new level with an utterly bizarre finale that sees the gig-slash-apocalypse take a truly unexpected twist.
Following Clive’s shocking revelation at the end of the last issue, the remaining members of Motherfather are reeling as they struggle to comprehend exactly what the bloody hell is going on (Kev in particular). Sadly, they aren’t given much time to process the information before the ritual sacrifices begin with gusto. I won’t delve too deeply into the events of the issue, but suffice to say that the body count rapidly skyrockets in shocking fashion and the denouement gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘contract negotiation’.
Tony Parker’s artwork thrives in the chaos here, delivering some truly impressive visual beats along the way. This issue (along with the comedic genius of issue four) has featured Parker’s best work of the series. It’s clear that he’s an artist whose distinctive style is better suited to the more ‘out there’ moments, and Cornell gives him a constant stream of those moments here, resulting in one of the better issues of the series – from a visual point of view, at least.
With the series reaching its conclusion, I just can’t shake the feeling the This Damned Band didn’t quite manage to achieve the full potential of its premise. A horror-slash-rocumentary comic is a truly fascinating concept, but there seemed to be some pacing issues early on that really sidelined the momentum of the story, and while it undoubtedly had its high points, it seemed to drag its feet at times – almost like a four-part series stretched out to six.
Overall though, Parker and Cornell have given us an enjoyable ride, with some memorable characters and more bizarre moments than you can shake a plectrum at. So, while it never did quite manage to turn itself all the way up to eleven, This Damned Band is still a series that’s well worth picking up when the trade eventually drops
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