The essence of space pirates in most essences is the element of freedom or idealism they stand for while making a bit of money. In “Warship Jolly Roger – Book 2 – Revenge” [Sylvain Runberg/Lion Forge/120pgs], the art adds and then reflects this life in a certain way. The visual stanza lurks between elements of “Spaceship Yamato” and Don Bluth’s “Space Ace”. The essence of the pirate leader Munro is like that past the prime bruiser who won’t give up with a little bit of Santa Claus in him. The lurid explosions but also the dark and danky interior of the Jolly Roger gives the ambiance of what something like “Andromeda” or “Stargate Universe” should have looked like with blood red and dark greens. The rag tag element of the team including the non trustworthy Kowalsky as well as Ausit who recently lost a leg as well as their young telepath ward carries a lot of the mythic structure of say “The Matrix” crew. Despite their idea of being bad, Munro puts his own stolen ship in danger to protect a hospital ship which is about to be fired on by the regional government. In the background of the story is a Presidential race which carries all the texture of modern day gluttony. The president is pursuing an actress who doesn’t seen the wolf beneath his clothing while she is still conniving to use his power to her advantage. Like a modern day martyr, Munro wants to take out the impending political wedding with an all encompassing sacrifice. But in order to do so he must commandeer an army of thinking robots to pilot him to victory. The pace of the action as well as the texture of betrayal while allowing for a more R rated progression gives the story an edge without it being too groundbreaking, thrilling without breaking the mold. As the conclusion teeters on a cliffhanger, the aspect of the choice between good and evil, friend and foe is the interesting quandary Munro has to face.
By Tim Wassberg