• Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop The Reign? #2

    Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop The Reign? #2
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 24th, 2017.
    Written and Illustrated by: Geof Darrow
    Purchase From Amazon

    When we last left our hero, he was set upon by a group of ne’er-do-wells known as The Revengers, led by a woman with a swastika on her. When this issue picks up, the cowboy has just jumped out of the truck hurtling towards his opponents, flying through the air as the V-8 drops out of the chassis. The giant talking crab – Crabby Hayes- isn’t 100% sure that this is the guy they’re looking for – he’s upside down after all –so they decide to kill him but not shoot him in the face so they can identify him later.

    It doesn’t end well for the bad guys. Cowboy relieves two of them of their Uzi’s and kills them and then he makes a break for it. But Double-Knit Billy is still around and the giant crab urges him to kill the cowboy. How all these bad guys keep missing him seems to be a bit of a mystery, but that’s how it plays out. Soon enough, Billy is dead too, a bullet through the head, leaving the crab to deal with cowboy all by his lonesome. It leaps through the air, a VW Bug on its back, but his luck isn’t any better. The stray dogs and cats in the area, oh and the giant lizards too, they seem to get a kick out of this. He heads towards a gas station where a woman smokes as she fills up. He ‘borrows’ her cigarette very politely, pulls the gas nozzle out of her car and directs it at the oncoming crab, and then he sets that bastard on fire. Those cats, dogs and lizards get the fuck out of Dodge when that happens. Well, the smart ones do at least.

    Elsewhere, King Crab and his minions, the ones behind the assault, see a report on YouTube about the gas station explosions. Using swastika woman as his host, King Crab swears vengeance! They need to get ahold of Kong, he’ll know how to handle this. In an alley, cowboy stumbles, injured, while dogs hump and piss and lick their balls nearby. This makes enough noise that one of the dogs wakes up Hog Kong so that he’s now aware cowboy is on his way. Along the way we learn Hog Kong’s sad origin having grown up in Iowa, how ‘dinner’ fought back, and how his mother’s righteous anger was shut down by a man… a single man who pole-axed her, thus explaining Hog Kong’s hatred of the cowboy. Kong trained in the secret art of the ninja to become like a fart – silent but deadly – and then began to grow and grow and grow. Kong thought the cowboy was dead. Now that he’s not so sure? Well, he needs to make sure.

    Dirty jokes. Dogs doing what dogs do. An insane eye for detail. Subtle and not so subtle digs at American consumerism, religion, social media, our addiction to ‘handheld electronic devices,’ drug treatment programs, pornography, the food industry, commercial farming – is there no sacred cow(boy) or giant mutant hog that Darrow won’t flick a booger at? Doesn’t look like it. He skewers EVERYTHING in this issue. Well, he skewered everything in the first issue two but he somehow manages to outdo himself in this second installment. The story is chaotic in the best possible way but it moves along nicely. Darrow’s wit shines through in every panel, making you stop, take pause, and re-read certain segments to make sure you’re taking it all in. It’ll take you a few tries, there really is an absolutely bonkers amount of ‘stuff’ crammed into this book. Pay attention to the street signs, the awnings over the businesses, the road signs along the highway, the graffiti, what the animals in the book are doing – every panel a masterpiece, really. Is there anyone else who does it like Darrow? No, no there isn’t. This is one of a kind, a lunatic masterpiece from the mind of a brilliant madman. Don’t miss it.

    In addition to the issue proper we also get three pages of reader letters tucked away in the back. Always a good time.
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