Reviews Of Old Comics: Tales To Offend #1
With the Reviews of Old Comics, I try to alternate between DC, Marvel and other publishers, It gets a little hard sometimes to find good Independently published comics from before the 2000s. However, since the announcement of Frank Miller returning for a third Dark Knight mini-series, this comic has been sitting on my desk waiting for the opportunity to review it. It’s Frank Miller doing politically incorrect material with a tongue-in-cheek treatment of it.
Somewhere in the galaxy, there is a dinosaur planet where a female tour guide uses it as a lesson that the dinosaurs lived peacefully and it was mankind that bespoiled nature’s beauty. Right as she’s making her point, a T-Rex snatches her flying tour car out of the air, devouring the guests on her tour. Even as it bears down on her, she maintains her view of nature’s way being right and just.
Then Lance Blastoff rockets in and snatches her from the T-Rex’s dangerous maw, while she begs him not to kill it, since she is now out of danger. However, Lance has every intention of killing and eating it, which she finds reprehensible. When the woman catches the smell of cooking dinosaur, she changes her mind and devours some cooked meat and throws herself at Lance Blastoff. Meat, it’s nature’s perfect food.
Next, in a Sin City story, Johnny has been driven to kill a man, Amy’s “Daddy”, who stands in the way of them being together. She’s convinced him that the only way that they can be together is if he kills her “Daddy” so she can keep her inheritance. When he arrives to confront him, Daddy tells him that he’s been played by his little girl, which drives Johnny into a rage and he shoots Daddy. Daddy then reveals that the gun Amy gave him was loaded with blanks. Daddy then beats Johnny to the floor, and Amy comes out to reveal that the only way Daddy can be sexually excited is by physically beating a man, but Johnny folded so easily, Daddy is going to have to strangle him to get excited enough for Amy.
The Lance Blastoff story continues with Lance abandoning the tour guide on the dinosaur planet after he’s bedded her. She calls after him, only to be eaten by another dinosaur. Lance goes to his spaceship where his hot, female robot staff informs him of a distress call they’ve received. The little aliens beg for help as they are intergalactic refugees in need of help. Lance ponders what to do, but the aliens cannot be eaten, and trying to sell them back to where they came from could be very risky. The aliens offer all of their advanced scientific knowledge and Lance gets an idea. He lobotomizes them all and sells them for pets.
This book is Frank Miller channeling everything politically incorrect for laughs. Who knew that in just a few years, these same themes would be played for serious drama. However, taking this comic for what it is, we have a case of a world and a future where avarice and evil triumph over the innocent. Not only does Lance not have a compassionate side to his nature, but he profits and is rewarded by the universe for it. Frank Miller was probably one out of a few comics creators that could have pulled off this comic, but today, it just couldn’t work the same.
His artwork is stark and graphic, and the gritty nature of it reinforces this paradigm. With Lance being in bright color, the Sin City style doesn’t work as well, and just looks a little less refined. In the second story, the colors work less and the final page has very poor design, and could have served the book more by giving Lance’s world in as much detail as his ship was just a few pages earlier.
The Sin City story in this issue has been collected in Sin City Volume 6: Booze, Broads, & Bullets (ISBN #1593072988). I don’t believe the Lance Blastoff has been collected anywhere else. If you go looking for it in back issue bins, don’t pay more than five bucks for it, and don’t be surprised to find it in dollar boxes, depending on the condition it’s in.
FINAL RATING: 7.5 (out of a possible 10) This issue has a few problems just due to its lack of political correctness, but that’s the point. The joke of how bad a person Lance Blastoff works the first time, but the second story it’s not as funny.