Pop Culture Gadabout
Thursday, September 13, 2012
      ( 9/13/2012 03:03:00 AM ) Bill S.  

“WE’RE THE GOVERNMENT, YOU DUMB ASS.” One look at its title and cover (hunky hard-boiled hero Jacob Mars holding a pistol as he sits on and is flanked by naked babes), and it’s clear that Jeffrey Kaufman and Marco Turini’s Whore (Big City Comics) is not your All-Ages mainstream graphic novel. Its amoral protagonist, Mars, is a “selfish, self-indulgent, semi-homicidal narcissist,” an assassin downsized from the CIA and forced to scramble to maintain his overpriced lifestyle by taking on dubious free-lance assignments.

Our anti-heroic Michael Weston also proves a target for a variety of unfriendlies, who he thankfully gets paid for taking out by his mysterious new contractor. Mars’ first assignments include protecting a gay ‘tween idol from his record company and acting as bodyguard for an entrant at a Westminster-styled dog show, but his most outlandish free-lance assignment is to impregnate the daughter of a Saudi prince who wants to raise the resulting progeny to kill the ex-CIA agent. “I am officially a whore,” Mars thinks after dickering his fee upwards on this last.

Violent, foul-mouthed and packed with panels of dames with outsized cleavage, Whore at first seems to be little more than a disconnected series of vignettes -- an impression enhanced by the non-essential guest spot of the Charles Angels-styled heroines from writer Kaufman’s earlier Terminal Alice GN -- until the book’s final pages where the script pulls it all together. Artist Turini has the appropriate slick eye for this entertainingly cynical adult actioner (though occasionally his busty babes display some pretty alarming teeth) and the dirty-minded witticisms flow freely. In one credulity snapping sequence, our man has a one-on-one round with the President, who he chastises for not bringing the Afghanistan troops home and knocks on his ass. “I’m surprised that one of my guys didn’t shoot you,” Barack tells Mars. We’re not at all surprised, however . . .

(First published on Blogcritics.)


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Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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