Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"So much fun." "So much fun."

We haven't checked out a Badger issue in a while, so it's past time. Especially since I'm still tearing my shelves apart looking for my old copy of Hexbreaker--it's 8.5" x 11" and I was convinced I had lost it. But here's an issue from the regular series running up to it: Badger #31, "Kill or Be Killed" Written by Mike Baron, art by Bill Reinhold. The title is cleverly presented, in Badger's fortune cookie...

Badger is in a bad way, since in the previous issue, he was hit with "the delayed death touch"--think Fist of the North Star, except it takes way longer--by Ron Dorgan, disciple of Hop Ling Sung. That's important, since a Chinese healer suggests if Badger (and his pal, Riley) could fight his way to Sung, he'd be honor-bound to heal him. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done, since Sung is a master of "negative kung" with an island stronghold of soldiers, just like every good kung-fu bad guy should have. The healer further advises, perhaps if they had some force Sung was unfamiliar with, like Celtic magic...

So, Badger goes to his boss, ancient druid Ham, to get help. After hearing their story, Ham sets up a spell to infuse the pair with the spirits of warrior kings Crazed Edgar and Roderick the Insatiable: by saying the magic word, the spirits will enter them and they'll become unstoppable killing machines...and maybe get taken over by said spirits, but still. And all Ham needs to do it is two cows, a nest of yellowjackets, and a toucan.

After the spell is cast, Riley notices Ham sacrificed the cows and the yellowjackets but didn't touch the toucan, and wonders why Ham wanted it. The next day, Riley and Badger take a plane and parachute into Sung's island. For some kung-fu reason, there are no guns on the island; but when they find the cave tomb of a samurai, Badger finds some new toys:

Following a lengthy climb, Badger and Riley are attacked by Sung's men, which leads to a lengthy fight. Riley suggests using the magic word. They don't remember it.

Still, they fight until Sung's men withdraw, and make their way to Sung's palace. There, they meet Hop Lung Sung, and are a little surprised when he's a white guy. Still, Sung promises to cure Badger--which he does, after drugging their tea--but now Badger has to help them prepare for the tournament. Sung starts to explain about the tournament, but stops when he realizes it's not going to be important; since Badger (and probably Riley) are going to be killed momentarily by Ron Dorgan. Who makes a dramatic entrance despite exposing a lot of skin and wearing what appears to be a leather diaper.

I don't know if Badger's new claws have a proper name--he wears them on the cover as well--but they look like crazy fun. If you don't mind accidentally gouging the hell out of yourself, your friends, and your immediate surroundings...please excuse today's title, apparently I've been watching a lot of Regular Show lately. Oddly, fortune cookies came up there, too. Anyway, we'll have a little more Baron and Reinhold later this week!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

While not necessarily before my time, I've never really run into any Badger comics, except maybe through an odd ad or two. Still, the character and concept are pretty solid, with maybe the exception of the Vietnam era backstory. No doubt a reboot could occur, but Badger would have to be an Iraqi or Afghanistan veteran now though.