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Fourthman Reviews Cowboy Ninja Viking #5

Written by Lee Newman on Friday, April 02 2010 and posted in Reviews

Pure insanity is the name of the game as the first arc of the most epic comic on the stands comes to a close.

Duncan posing menacingly, with personalities above.{nomultithumb}COWBOY NINJA VIKING #5
Published by Image Comics
Written by AJ Liebermann
Illustrated by Riley Rossmo

Okay.  So the reason I am reviewing this issue is quite simple.  Someone asked me if the book was any good and while a “It’s awesome” is always a great answer; an in depth review of why those two words are the answer is an even better way to get across my point.

I love comics.  I really do.  Sure, this week in the Review Group thread I kind of bashed Blackest Night #8 and well Second Coming was a hum drum read for me.  I know there are people who thought both were the best thing since Ditko and Lee thought up old Spidey.  If you need proof of the fact that I love comics, just look at how much time I spend online talking about them, or how many I read, or there is the whole fact that I have never received one red cent for writing these here reviews.

Duncan in actionCowboy Ninja Viking is one of the best examples of why I love the medium.  It is such an outlandish concept that it is genius.  It’s pretty simple, Cowboy Ninja Viking is the story of Duncan.  He happens to be the eponymous character and he lives up to that moniker.  How is this possible, you might ask?  Well, it seems he is a “triplet,” a highly trained government agent.  The reason he is called a triplet is because he has a multiple personality disorder that the government trained in, well... if you can’t guess what they did at this point...  The general idea behind the program that created this surprisingly not so unique agent was that the best way to fight Psychopaths is with crazy people.  The initial run of the operation didn’t exactly work out so well.

Issue five sees the end of the very first story arc.  It would have, at one point, been the end of the title, but the response to the book was so overwhelmingly positive that it got upgraded from a mini-series to an ongoing pretty much straight away.  That’s a lot of faith from Image, heck SWORD was cancelled by Marvel at issue five.  Image is ready to give this book a long term commitment.

For those who have not been reading it, my best advice is to stop reading this review and hunt down the issues right now.  For those that don’t trust me that much *sigh* keep reading...

The other triplets are assembled.  Scofield and Blaq are making back door deals.  Grear is assembling an army for her own nefarious purposes.  Meanwhile, our team of heroes - the good Doc, the lovely Nix and our intrepid hero, Duncan are on a plane headed to parts undisclosed.  Everything that has been building up since day one is about to come to a head.

Doc forcing Duncan to HALO jump

This book is full of more action and solid characterization than almost any ten comics on the shelf this week.  What other book can turn a team of three into a sextet without even bothering to get more characters in the panel?  What other book features characters who talk to themselves like they are long time internet message board rivals?  You know that the different aspects of their psychosis have to survive together and as such really need and love each other, but it is fun to watch them needle each other relentlessly.  What’s more, it is a high concept espionage actioner complete with cinematic visuals and awesome one liners.

This book is everything that people loved about Casanova but with a whole lot of crazy thrown in and as a result it keeps the reader guessing, laughing and wanting more.  No other book’s last panel has seemed more like an ending movie sequence or elicited as much joy from me in quite a while.  Cowboy Ninja Viking is the whole package - awesome art from one of the industry’s rising talents, a unique size to drive collectors bananas, and a manic over the top escapist plot that reads like the Bourne Identity as envisioned by David Lynch.  This is pure comics nirvana, insane, infectious and overwhelmingly addictive.


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