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‘Suicide Girls’ Comic Book Gets Even Crazier, Begins Harvesting Tears [Review]

I’m not gonna lie, folks: Ever since I reviewed the first issue of IDW’s SuicideGirls comic, in which the Internet’s favorite alt-porn pin-up site was recast as a gang of tattooed, bloodthirsty, katana-wielding terrorist revolutionaries, it has quickly become one of the comics I look forward to the most. How could it not? The whole thing was like a Russ Meyer fever dream rendered in the absolutely beautiful art of Cameron Stewart and David Hahn.

Even so, after a first issue that featured a legacy dating back to Cleopatra, a sword carried in a corset piercing sheath and so, so many murders, I figured I’d seen the heights of what this book’s plot had to offer. As I expected, the second issue is not as crazy as the first.

It’s crazier.Much like the first one, the script — written by Brea Grant and Zane Grant and based on a plot by Brea Grant, Steve Niles and Missy Suicide — isn’t exactly this issue’s strong point, nor is it what I’d refer to as “coherent.” I’ve completely forgotten the name of the girl that I thought was set up to be the main character because she’s never directly addressed, and there are times when things get so jumbled up that I wasn’t even sure all the pages were printed in the right order.

There’s a narrative device used in this issue that integrates the Suicide Girls website’s practice of hosting blogs for the models so that subscribers have a convenient non-naked-pictures reason to read the site. The blogger/narrator in question is Porter, the de rigeur perky-quirky purple-haired hacker, and nothing she says makes any sense.

For instance, here she is suiting up for a mission in rubber coveralls to head down to the sewer, while also blogging about the video game Dragon Age II.

It’s also worth noting that this panel makes a pretty great showcase of Hahn’s art, especially since Porter’s arched back and sultry smile as she eyes the reader are a pretty great example of how he perfectly captures the book’s pin-up aesthetic. The Glock tucked into the g-string is just icing on the cake. Hilarious, hilarious icing.

But the Dragon Age line throws me. I mean, I’m willing to accept that the blog narration has nothing to do with what’s going on in the comic because it serves the same function as the blogs on SuicideGirls.com itself: providing character development (shallow and vapid as it may be) and making these women more relatable to the average reader and/or alt-porn fan. That said, a shout out like this still sticks out like a pierced nipple.

I was sort of under the impression that this comic took place in a dystopian future, while Dragon Age II — the subject of a comic also published by IDW — came out like two months ago. Is Porter touting her find of a gaming relic from the Before Times on the SuicideGirls’ private Unternet? Are Dragon Age and her Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs an ultra-cool status symbol in the sexy world beyond Thunderdome?

“Oh, this game? Yeah, it’s pre-apocalypse. You probably haven’t heard of it.”

Or is this the creators’ way of subtly letting us know that it’s actually taking place in an alternate present? Is this an indication that in producing a game that famously includes busty pirates and same-sex romances, BioWare — and by extension, Canada — have escaped Way*Of*Life’s tyrannical rule? How deep does this rabbit hole go?!

Either way, when you have someone getting so distracted thinking about this stuff that they stop paying attention to Hahn and Stewart drawing naked ladies, there might be a problem with your script. For the most part, though, the problems are more than balanced out, both by Hahn’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous art — which you can see more of in his new book, All Nighter right here on ComicsAlliance — and the fact that it’s completely bat-sh*t insane.

That’s a phrase that gets thrown around a little too much on the Internet, but I assure you, we are approaching Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose levels of dementia. Seriously, this is how the second issue opens:

If you’re a little confused by this, don’t worry; that’s perfectly normal. From what I can figure, the green-haired girl is the missing SuicideGirl that What’s-Her-Name with the blue hair joined the team to find, and Low-Rent Dr. Wily over there is using his dystopian future and/or alternate present technology to read her memories so that he can find out where the rest of the SuicideGirls are. None of this matters.

What matters is that I am 90% sure that in place of your standard Clockwork Orange homage, David Hahn has drawn her hooked up to a machine that harvests the tears of SuicideGirls.

Holy cats. I have no idea what kind of nefarious scheme would involve harvesting SuicideGirl tears — nor do I know why they’d go through that much trouble to get them rather than just telling the girls that the local co-op was out of Manic Panic hair dye — but I’ll b damned if I don’t want to read every single issue of this series to find out.

The rest of the issue includes the Girls fighting evil cyborgs, including one that gets decapitated, stuck in a pan and interrogated in a direct reference to MST3K‘s “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die,” a bizarrely plotted infiltration into one of Way*of*Life’s Come-to-Jesus meetings that finds women in cultist robes with crosses printed right on each breast, and a downright criminal underuse of Sexy Waitress costumes that I can only imagine will be remedied next month.

The best bit, though, comes from a scene where Sana, the Hannibal of this T&A-Team, seduces Way*of*Life’s right Reverend Menotar. In a shocking twist (read: mandatory plot point), the holy man is is revealed to be a depraved foot fetishist, and Sana is able to exploit that fact. It’s a chilling indictment of how those in power always seek to destroy the sins they themselves are guilty of, done with the kind of striking literary power that I haven’t seen since Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V For Vendetta.

Nah, I’m just messing with you. Here’s what actually happens:

She gets him to lick her shoes, then stabs him in the neck with a switchblade needle hidden in her stiletto heel! That. Is. Amazing. I have been reading comic boks pretty much constantly for 23 years, and that is something that I have never seen before. Now I completely understand why it took four people to write this comic.

I’ll admit to doubting this book before, but you win, SuicideGirls: I am Paul on the road to your sexy, tattooed Damascus and the scales have fallen from my eyes. In the words of CA’s Associate Editor Andy Khouri, “if this were a movie, you’d memorize every line and go to midnight screenings in costume and shout the dialogue at the screen for years to come,” and he’s exactly right.

Also, “Switchblade Heel” is now definitely the name of my glam band.

Suicide Girls #2 is on sale this week in finer comics stores and can be purchased online from Things From Another World.










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