Review: Hard Travelin’ Heroz: Sixpack and Dogwelder #5

by Tony Farina
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Inker: John Kalisz

There is a “Sirius problem” in that the Dog Star is too close to the sun and there is a good chance the world is going to end. That could be an issue because the end of the world is a bad thing. Dogwelder, as the only person on the team who has been cursed by a dog god, is the only person on earth who can stop total destruction. Section 8 must launch themselves into space to help Dogwelder save the world.

Once again, Russ Braun is the saving grace of this book. It is not the big things that he does that are so great, it is the subtle things that really pay off. There will be a look between Guts and Constantine that really shows the reader where that relationship is heading. That may not sound so spectacular, but Guts doesn’t have a face and yet, Braun pulls it off.

He has only three stitches holding the 6 to Sixpack’s mask. It looks like it was sewn on by a drunken…Oh right it was. It seems as though it could go flying off at any moment. It is a clever way to show the reader that this team is less useful than a sack of doorknobs.

There are a few funny passages in this issue. That has been missing. There is also a really excellent conversation between Dogwelder and Sixpack that is touching and poignant. That has been missing as well. Thanks for adding that in Mr. Ennis. I appreciate it.

Banality, thy name is Hard Travelin’ Heroz. This book is supposed to be making fun of a few things. I love social satire. I love it. I think making readers uncomfortable to prove a point is totally fine. I do not have to agree with your point, but I am all for your right to make it. This book, is not satirical; it is just mean. There is a difference. I know that Ennis knows the difference because I have read a lot of his work. There is a scene where the Justice League begs off going to save the world because Hawkman says, as Green Lantern and the Flash look on sheepishly, “We don’t do stars.” It is not funny. It is not satirical, it is hypocritical. If you want to make fun of DC, do it somewhere else. Don’t be the guy who plays with matches while living in a straw house.

Maybe I am too stupid to understand what Ennis is doing here. Maybe, I just need someone smarter than me to explain it, but I do not get it. I don’t get why this is funny. You do not like that Hellblazer is now part of the main DC universe and not in Vertigo anymore. Okay. Right. I see the point. It was funny in the first issue, but now, it is just frustrating.

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