[Editor’s note: Thank you for your patience waiting for this review while we updated our website host. This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Inker: John Kalisz
Section 8 has to figure out what is up with Dogwelder. When we last saw him, John Constantine taught him how to talk using a dead puppy as a puppet (really, that happened). Sixpack is convinced that he can train Dogwelder Star Wars style. Instead, Dogwelder wanders off to find his children, John smokes with his space helmet closed and he and Guts share a look that upsets Bueno. Baytor shouts, “I am Baytor.” By then end, they all end up in Egypt. What the hell is going on?
Garth Ennis is back to focusing on Section Eight (and Constantine) instead of bringing in a bunch of other DC heroes and villains. The thing about Ennis is that he is at his best when he is putting the words into the mouths of his own characters. In fact, the last line of the book is uttered by Constantine and it is laugh-out-loud funny. As often the case, Ennis punches the reader right in the nose with the point he is making. He reserves the subtlety to his artists and in this book Braun gets to have some fun.
After a wild ride on John’s mystic surfboard (where Guts has her tentacles wrapped lovingly around Constantine) from the dive bar to Dogwelder’s house, Sixpack discovers that being an overweight, out of shape alcoholic on a supersonic surfboard does not mix. While the tension between Dogwelder and his ex-wife takes center stage, Sixpack pukes in the pool. No words are exchanged; it just happens. It is one of the most realistic things that happens in this book. It goes a long way to explain the odd relationship this messed up team has. Here is their “fearless” leader on all fours losing his “lunch” and they just move on without comment. We could all be so lucky to have pals like that. Of course, they are terrible monsters and one of them can only shout “I am Baytor” so…
As a fan of Ennis, I was really hoping that this book was going somewhere. I am really rooting for it go somewhere. I thought with the Dogwelder stuff it was heading down a road to somewhere. I am not sure it is on the road. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff happening that is absolutely brilliant, but then there are pages and pages of nothing happening with dialogue that is not fun or clever.
Is this just a blip in what is an otherwise brilliant career? Am I rushing to judgment? We have a month to decide.