Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Aubrey Sitterson
Artist: Tony Gregori
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Release Date: 2nd June 2021
These may be the Worst Dudes, but that doesn’t mean this is the worst read; far from it, in fact.
When you have a book from somewhere like Dark Horse that slaps a big warning label on the front cover there’s a part of me, the curmudgeonly pessimistic part, that sees this as some sort of gimmicky marketing ploy to lure in those looking for something a tad risqué. Sure, the opening foul language and bawdy (I’m loathe to say juvenile or puerile) humour coupled with drug taking and lechery means that The Worst Dudes definitely earns its ‘For Mature Readers’ label.
So what’s this all about then? The skinny is that a dirty cop, a back-up dancer, and an angsty adolescent are on the hunt for a missing pop star in a galactic, in your face romp. Seems pretty straightforward until you throw in the fact that the back up dancer is like someone crossed an extra from This Is Spinal Tap with Custard (or, say, Tony the Tiger for those not of a certain age to enjoy vintage British cartoons). Oh, and the adolescent is effectively a god. I’m pretty sure the investigator is just a cop though…
The pop sensation, Zephyr Monsoon, who just happens to be the illegitimate child of a Zeus-like Storm King has gone missing following a messy divorce. In order to try and keep the whole affair from blowing up into an epic PR disaster, her Imperial Majesty has sought the help of Dt. Sugar to solve the case. For insurance, the god-heir Bang is sent along as company. From this Imperial palace its off to the Wet Spot, like if the Mos Eisley cantina were a strip joint, and a lot more hullaballo.
The book provides a humorous and entertaining enough read, but I’m not sure it quite nailed what I would expect from the warning label. Perhaps this is a cultural thing as the satirically sleazy is something that’s not easy to pull off. I’m not sure just how raunchy and loathsome the Worst Dudes was trying to be, and I might be looking for, and missing, something that was never intended.
Esposito must have had a good time lettering so much profanity in this fairly easy to follow plot. Similarly, Gregori and Kindzierski give us art that is weird enough to be engaging but never crosses the line into ‘too’ much. It’s all in your face with lots of throwaway detail which rewards more careful inspection. Things like the palace guards, a simple but fab design, are a personal favourite with so much of this tugging at nostalgic memories of old 2000 ADs or similar. Also, I’m sure Felix makes an appearance here…
As I say, this is an enjoyable enough read but if I’m being honest it’s the kind of thing I would probably prefer to read in a collected format with a beer. If you’re looking for something to scratch the funny, or odd, bone then this could be for you.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster