Friday, 16 November 2012

Post-Comics Thoughts on Kal Jerico Characters


After my rather cursory insight into my opinions regarding things Kal Jerico last Monday, allow me to elaborate. Here’s where I look into each character and where I tell you what I think was done right, what went wrong, and where I’d like to see them go.  Here we go...

Kal Jerico

Since the start of the series Kal has been a character who has fluctuated in my favour. This really rubs in about Crimson Tide. How do you efficiently follow on from an episode like that? I mean Kal’s final thoughts are to go back and get the diamond-eyes of Shequel.
“Kal Jerico, underhive bounty hunter for hire” reads what I believe to be the most iconic picture of Kal Jerico. To be fair, there have been a lot more episodes covering this well than I remember. Somewhere along the lines he became less of the character I knew and loved. This briefly re-emerged in Homecoming. You see, the man in particular is defined by his boyish defiance. This can be a really likeable character trait. See Daniel Craig’s Bond for this. But as I read further and further in there seems to be something missing in the intelligent execution of this. Maybe that’s it. The further in we get, the less intelligent Jerico we get. Stories like The Delivery, Crimson Tide and even parts of The Nemo Agenda all portray Jerico as being, well, kinda predictable.
Then again, maybe most of this harboured apathy toward Jerico comes from Crimson Tide – the one story that feels like a bad Bond film. It would’ve been good if this episode hadn’t existed. I’m sure it would make transition from the comics to the books far easier. Not that Crimson Tide had a lack of potential, but it was lacking in so many departments.
For the most part, Jerico has been the savvy, roguish bounty hunter I’ve enjoyed so far. Maybe making him a little more Necromundan bounty hunter, or even re-aligning him with my comparative mix of two well-known screen heroes would be redemption enough. Those are my only wants for future Jerico adventures.

Scabbs

What a train-wreck this character has become. Not that he was particularly efficient at holding his life together before. More what I’m stabbing at is his three different character traits, one of which really clashing with the others. Scabbs is, in equal parts, a more than competent bounty hunter by his lonesome, a loyal look-out for Jerico who constantly has his back, and a whiny bitch who cowers like Scooby-Doo every time something scary comes along. So what’s off here?
It doesn’t take a genius to see it. The latter of these traits is utterly contradictory to the previous two. To be fair, when this started it was a reasonable thing. Scabbs wasn’t quite so competent, often lacking a weapon, and only ran when everyone else did. If he had a complaint, it was often valid, and you could feel like screaming at Kal for ignoring them.
Later, however, Scabbs became something to his own. He was trusted to go after targets, and often armed appropriately. For a while this trait vanished, like the comic had good character development in the wings. Every few episodes though, it re-emerged. Sometimes reasonable, other times not.
 The real offender appeared in Scabbs and Yolanda. You’d think Scabbs was insane by the multiple character disorder he was displaying. So it’s easy to see what should be cut out. No more clashing whiny bitch.
I honestly don’t know where I’d like to see this character go. Kal Jerico has already explored a good few stories with Kal and Scabbs, and some have been interesting divergences from the norm. Just keep it up, I suppose.

Vandal Feg

Vandal Feg was in interesting inclusion in the first episode. After a while though, it was appropriate he became a named henchman. Of all the villains, Vandal Feg has made a decent enough amount of appearances. He’s even had a good enough exit.
The problem with a character like this is you can easily replicate him with any number of other villains of the same archetype. I feel Kal Jerico has already done this with The Freak and Killing Time. The Freak, for one, was far more menacing, and as far as villains go, more imposing too. What Feg has that villains like The Freak doesn’t is an ability to appear just about anywhere. He’s not so hugely bulky he can’t pull of a good enough disguise.
Villains like this, though, exist to be mini-bosses. They’re hired muscle hired to take out the trash, and that’s all they are ever going to attempt to do. So count this assessment as my review for the steroid monkeys in The Freak and Killing Time too: I only ever expect them to show up for fights.
I think Feg has had a good run, ideally I’d like the writers to just let him die in Crimson Tide as it was one of the more bad-ass parts of it. Hell, one could say it was a redeeming feature. Cardinal Crimson just disappeared, along with the plot, and the fight with Feg on the sinking corpse of one gigantic spider honestly stole the show in the way Crimson should have. I think this one is a wrap. It’d honestly really disappoint me if they brought him back.

Yolanda Catallus

Originally the psychopathic feminazi punk with some of the most entertaining threats in Kal Jerico, not to mention one hell of an intimidating attitude by The Nemo Agenda, things have only gotten more confusing since she quite surprisingly teamed up with Scabbs, and then Jerico too. Of all of the plot twists emerging right outta the blue, this one comes close to Crimson Tide.
No matter what she’s in she’s always an enjoyable character. So my primary concern for future instalments is they clean up the plot holes left by her sudden and apparent change in character.

Nemo

The best of all the villains and he only appears in two stories?! The last even set him up with enough for him to easily make another appearance.
From the get-go, Nemo has only ever been an intimidating, mysterious figure. He has back story, making him one of the few characters to have some development. On top of that, he poses the largest threat to Jerico of all the villains on Necromunda. Why on earth has he not made another appearance? I’d dedicate a whole book to Nemo’s quest vendetta against Jerico. Right now he seems to be the person in the best state to order something like this done. He has agents, gadgets, he’s a frikkin’ spy master (!)...
The last person to have a grudge this big has suddenly been nullified with no explanation. At least Kal doesn’t trust her. Maybe there’s something in the wings.
Okay, simply put: BRING BACK NEMO! If he doesn’t have a major story arc in at least one of the novels I will be bitterly disappointed.

Cardinal Crimson


Here’s a character I’m dreading seeing again. He should’ve died twice now and only ever shows up to be a forward driver of the plot. What’s worse is he’s a main villain.
Why is it these comics set on Necromunda can never seem to do Redemptionists right? Oh joy, there’s a book with his name on it.
My problem with Crimson is already explained in-depth on many reviews. If they’d wanted to do him right, he could have been a brilliant villain. A psychopathic religious nut-job is always scary as all hell. See Jim Jones as one of many real life examples, or watch Seven or Red State for movie examples.
Instead we have a character that isn’t even cookie-cutter anymore. Cardinal Crimson better be a bloody good book. I can only think of what a let-down it’s going to be.

The Van Saar Juve from Code of Honour

If Bioware games have taught me anything is that you can get attached to minor characters as easily as major characters. Half of the fun of Mass Effect 2 was spending time catching up with old faces. They may have been brief encounters, but it made the universe feel complete. It was a satisfactory feeling, and it brought out the depth the game had.
This unnamed Van Saar juve is someone I’d still like to see again, even briefly. We never really see how the events of the underhive affect living for the populace. Not with any real character anyway.
Maybe it was the naivety and innocence that a character like this has in a corrupt, scum-ridden hive. He’s instantly likeable. Something about him even makes you hope he’ll be alright. Short-hand, there’s some really interesting background-building and character going to waste here. Get on it Black Library.

Heleana Jerico

Here’s a well-written character. Why? You can both sympathise with her and loathe her. She’s a terrible mother, but a good inquisitor. It makes sense. In the long run she’s doing more for humanity with the Inquisition. She’s also a rare breed of Inquisitors you can actually get on the side of.
With the death of Lord Gerontius Helmawr in Lasgun Wedding I expect to see the Jerico family making an appearance. It may even be interesting to see a couple more outside-mission moments with Kal and Heleana as family. Unlike Cardinal Crimson, I’m deeply intrigued by what might come to pass in Lasgun Wedding. First things first, I have Blood Royal to tackle....

Merelda Jerico

This tomboy sibling relation of Kal’s is quite fun in the way she likes to wind him up. Obviously she’s quite fond of him. After all, she gifts Kal with Wotan at the end of Above & Beyond. Yet again, more Jerico family values in Lasgun Wedding. I’d like that.




Mordak

The only character I had to look up the name of, but his character has remained with me. He’s another case of the Van Saar juve. Roll on Lasgun Wedding, please be good, and hopefully include even a cameo from this guy.





I think that about rounds this up. Take care, and next up will be a post on who I think could've been  an excellent live action Kal Jerico. ‘Til then.

--Blackwire 

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