By: Brian Churilla (writer/artist), Ed Brisson (letters)
The Story: More craziness with DB Cooper: Psychic CIA Agent
Recap/Review (with minor SPOILERS): Trippy. That’s probably the best way to describe this comic. Now, this second issue doesn’t catch you off-guard quite the way that Issue #1 did…that issue was really something else. Still, the crazy just keeps flowing in this issue, and we also get a fair amount of background information on the who/what/why/when/where/how of the infamous DB Cooper.
The crazy? That happens right off the bat as we see DB locked in dreamscape combat against some horrible monster. It’s this huge slug-thing with a gaping, toothy mouth, no eyes and two scrawny arms. But the really awful thing about the monster visually is that it has old-lady breasts: long, saggy and with a odd fuzz of hair on them (like eyebrows that need to be plucked). It’s a really disturbing visual and gives you a sense of, “Ugh…nasty. I shouldn’t be looking at this.” Yet…it’s hard to tear your eyes away as Agent Cooper, in trench coat, sunglasses and katana does battle with this horrid thingie. Finally, he chops its head off and we cut to a scene from a Czech opera house to see some Stalinesque Communist Party big-wig have his head fall off into his date’s lap. Whoa! Another psychic/dreamscape assassination for Agent Cooper!
What’s weird about this scene is that it messes slightly with the mechanic we thought we learned about last issue: Agent Cooper goes into a dreamscape and psychically assassinates Soviet VIPs. How does a Communist dude with a huge mustache psychically manifest as a slug-monster with granny boobs? Hmmm… Weird…
So, that’s the crazy in this issue. But, as mentioned above, we also get a lot more background on who DB Cooper is and how he’s come to exist in this disheveled state where he’s become the top psychic assassin for the CIA. Turns out he had his young daughter kidnapped and she was never found. Ouch! Then his marriage didn’t survive the stress of losing a child. Double ouch! And that’s turned him into this hard-boiled guy who just doesn’t give a crap anymore…except that he’s still kinda looking for his daughter and thinks he may be about to find her in the dreamscape world.
An interesting thing in this comic is that we see Cooper from different perspectives. In the Dreamscape….we’re clearly seeing things from his point of view. And oddly, he seems much more sane in this dreamscape where he fights massive slug-monsters with granny boobs than he does in the “real world”. There he’s just an incredibly damaged human being who is being kinda used by the CIA. But ironically, when we see him in the “real world”, it’s all seen from the standpoint of a neutral observer. Crazy people never think they’re crazy, right?
The art is very effective. It’s very blunt and direct and full of classic cartooning. It isn’t art that you’d call “beautiful”, but it more than fulfills its storytelling mission.
Conclusion: A really good issue that dials back the crazy a little bit to give us more background on the central character.
– Dean Stell