Monday, 10 September 2012

First Impressions

So I planned to sit down and get the first two or four episodes of Kal Jerico covered in this first review. Instead, I found having already read the first five episodes already that I had some things to say about Kal in particular. An analogy if you will, with a short summary of Scabbs too.
The thing is, the first four episodes quite solely achieve the purpose of setting up Kal Jerico’s adversaries, and it’ll be the focal point of my reviews to not only rant and rave about the stories and background, but how good the villains are. After all, good villains are half the fun! However (!), there are a great deal of general observations and opinions I have picked up about Kal Jerico that do not fit within the boundaries of one particular episode, and these I name “First Impressions”. So here it is, my first impressions of Kal Jerico (and Scabbs).

Kal Jerico & Scabbs

Having had a deeply ingrained idea of what Kal Jerico would be like from a few pieces of art didn’t really prepare me for the surprise that my own assumptions were wrong. If you’ve read my previous piece, How I Wound Up Here, you’ll know that I’d thought Kal Jerico to have a noble air, and while there is a certain truth to this I thought it’d mean he’d be more atypically aristocratic. How wrong I was.
Kal Jerico hails from upper echelon society in Necromunda, he speaks in the well composed manner of a noble, and indeed even has somewhat cavalier attitude, but he is also a roguish bounty hunter that relishes danger and spur-of-the-moment action. He is a man of whims, fast thinking, fast money, schemes and opportunism. In short, he’s best summarised as Captain Jack Sparrow if he planned and found himself in the same situations as The Man With No Name. That’s a pretty good reason to want to read about him right there.

Ladies and gents, 'The Man With No Hat'

His fighting style likewise is something of a swashbuckler and a gunslinger. Needless to say he’s nimble, daring, stylish, and a little juvenile, but only in the same sort of ways Captain Jack is, and that’s the reason we love him.
Scabbs is quite a different case. He’s the downtrodden lower class. He’s not really an expert fighter. He’s not witty or good looking like Kal and he’s the exact opposite in style. What he does posses is valuable knowledge, a certain sensibility, and pretty unflinching loyalty to Kal Jerico. Sure, as the sidekick he fulfils the stereotypical kidnap victim role, but he also watches out for Kal and even saves his bacon on the odd occasion. It goes to show that Kal himself, while being competent enough to take on gangs by himself, is wise enough to bring along a back-up.
As a duo, the conversation between Kal and Scabbs is actually quite interesting. It’s a lot better than Bruce/Batman and Dick/Robin. And as we read through their adventures in the native ruins of Necromunda’s underhive, it adds a nice level of banter (mostly all from Kal), and adds to the background and life of this most noteworthy of hive cities.
Next time I’ll have reviews for The Hit and Yolanda, maybe Nemo and Redemption too. As a final side-note, when I opened up The Complete Kal Jerico, I was met on the front page by the very same piece of art that instilled the name Kal Jerico into my mind all those years ago. It felt somewhat right for this outing. Until next time.


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