REVIEW: Razor Bastard 2
Some would argue that the showdown of the year in the comic’s world was ‘Batman V Superman’ or ‘Civil War’, but I’ll contest that and claim it’s clearly Paul Johnson’s comic book sequel ‘Razor Bastard: Rise of Dick Machine’.
It follows the further adventures of the wise-cracking, muscle bound gimp Razor Bastard as this time around he gets roped in by the police to help catch the villainous Dick Machine!
What sets Johnson apart from other indie comic writers around is his use of nostalgia. Razor is dipped in a huge amount of 80’s & early 90’s reference. Johnson is clearly a child of Pop-Culture and you can see it flow through his story lines.
When I was initially introduced to Johnson’s work it was because of his illustrations. It’s so vibrant and exaggerated in tone, you wonder how on Gods-earth he has not been signed up already by one of the huge comic companies? That’s no disrespect in what he’s doing as an independent artist, but in my opinion he’s head and shoulders above other artists currently around at present.
Although Johnson is renowned for his artwork and quite rightly so as it’s so unique, he made giant leaps and bounds with his writing with the utterly fabulous ‘Once Monster’. This continues on Dick Machine as watching Johnson evolve not only as an artist, but also as a writer is wonderful. He seems a lot more comfortable and mature now and his pacing throughout Dick Machine is on fire. Another huge advantage Johnson has is his humour. There’s lots of laugh-out moments on show here and even when Johnson is telling gruesome stories or showing graphic imagery he does it in such a funny way, it truly is an amazing skill.
Story-wise we kick off with Razor hunting down the aptly-named ‘Paedo-Gnome’ who hangs around the local school with his sausage hanging out and firing lollipops out of his…?….well, err…you get the gist!
Anyways from there on Razor Bastard gets embroiled in a police investigation to bring down the villain known as Dick Machine!
Along the way Razor manages to slice & dice many bad guys, get mashed up into a Transformer-type giant robot and find time to doggy-style a buxom blonde in the men’s toilets!
We’re also introduced to the character of Blackstone. A hard as nails cop who resembles a sort of Jim Gordon type, but sprinkled with 70’s dialogue. There’s also a really beautiful segment tracing Razor’s origins which fans will love.
All seems over the top and it is at times, but that’s what make Johnson’s books and characters work so well. There’s nobody else out there doing what Paul Johnson is doing right now, he’s such an original.
‘Razor Bastard: Rise of Dick Machine’ plays out like a 70’s/80’s exploitation , police-procedural episode, with elements of 80’s sci-fi trash and 90’s horror. Quite a combination and everything fused together perfectly by a writer & artist who’s at the peak of his powers.
For fans of the original comic (Razor Bastard: Year of the Boar), Johnson once again delivers if not exceeds. For newcomers, get ready to have your head blown to smithereens as nothing can quite prepare you for the ride your about to take. Basically…get ready for your new favourite writer, artist and comic book!