Monday, May 10, 2010

The ABC Warriors: The Volgan War Volume Two

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of The ABC Warriors: The Volgan War Volume Two (Rebellion, 2010)

"The Volgan War," arguably Pat Mills' most ambitious series to feature his thirty-odd year-old ABC Warriors, finally wound to a conclusion earlier this year in its serialized form. The really nice hardcover editions are lingering a little bit behind, and the second of the four hardcover book versions was released a few months ago.

In it, the Warriors are on Mars, intending to leave the demented Mek-Quake in a rest home for a long convalescence while they recruit a mysterious flamethrower called Zippo to fill their ranks. While some of the robots, who've always squabbled, begin scheming even more than usual, secrets from their military past are revealed, showing it might be impossible for them to ever work together as a unit again after old betrayals are unveiled.

It's very hard to find any flaws with this collection. Mills and Clint Langley, possibly the definitive Warriors artist, really have created a wild, brainstorming wonder of a series, full of double-dealing and bizarre tech. There's an ongoing joke about Blackblood, the robot war criminal programmed for treachery, being unable to understand that the human euphemism "the general public" isn't actually a secret officer who's hunting him down, a rare example of a running gag that turns into an important plot point when we see what his literal mind did with the misinformation years previously. Fun, outlandish and occasionally intense, "The Volgan War" is a real treat, and highly recommended.

No comments: