“Our friend just died in there. Maybe try being decent human beings for like five minutes!” – Vega.
When a dancer is found dead and her daughter missing, the cops write it off as just another overdosed tweaker and a runaway kid. But Vega knows better, and now she has to decide if she’s willing to risk her freedom in order to help those who have nowhere else to turn. And Cully Hamner (Red, Batman and The Signal) returns to THE RIDE for an explosive story about stuffed bunnies and hand grenades.
Writer Doug Wagner is picking up the pace with the story in this particular issue as Vega is immersed into what appears to be a suicide of her friend and her child, Annabelle, is missing. Wagner’s story has all the elements of a noir detective drama, and he places them on full display in this issue. A “junkie’s death” is not what it seems as the fingers have been “bleached”. Classic crime and passion stuff drips from Wagner’s pen in this issue.
The seedy world of strip clubs and a car akin to Stephen King’s Christine greet the reader in this issue. And Wagner has a host of characters that operate outside the norms of a cooker cutter society. The Ride definitely is a fringe comic. The art by Daniel Hillyard and Cully Hamner is solid, and the dream sequences portrayed as the car makes it way into Vega’s sight once her eyes close for slumber is pretty intense.
And Vega’s draw to attention of the local underbelly doesn’t give her all the leads she anticipates. Which leads to another cliffhanger.
In the second story, “Foo”, it is simply the recitation of the “Little Bunny Foo Foo” rhyme with a war time twist. This is a harbinger of PTSD if there ever was one and a psychological commentary should accompany this story. Whew!
The Ride is dark… and different… and depressing. I’m not sure that comic would be the term used as much as a graphic novel excerpt. If it is your cup of tea to drink from the fringes of comics, then have at it. It’s a story that is shaping up as a dark NBC CSI episode. And it is adorned with an extra story that tilts your tea over!
It is an issue of what your preferences are in comics. I climbed into the ride in the first issue and I’ll continue to ride. But I’m the frustrated child in the back with no video games, movies or magazines. I’m simply along for the ride!
Doc B is a college physical education instructor that has coached numerous sports on the rec, club, and collegiate level. He has a wonderful wife, two awesome kids, and remembers when Kryptonite came in a lot of different forms. He also has learned not to utter "Mxyzptlk" backwards!