It’s a return to form with the latest Cinema Purgatorio. In fact, this is probably the best all-round issue so far! But first…
Many years ago, I read a series of letters which Groucho Marx sent to Warner Brothers after WB had threatened to comedians the Marx Brothers over the title of their new comedy film A Night In Casablanca. In typical Groucho style the letters were both hilarious and snarky, and the legal department at WB were left increasingly puzzled as each successive letter took their legal threats lighter and lighter. Finally, the lawyers gave up and there’s a good lesson to learn from that.
In this latest issue, Alan Moore takes things one step further by creating an incredibly dark comedy casting the Marx Brothers as the Warner Brothers, pulling out many of the skeletons from the WB closet and shoving them in the readers’ faces. Jack Warner’s unethical, tyrannical attitudes towards business and family are exposed, along with the shocking mistreatment of writers and animators, whilst film stars and directors were given a pass from WB for their heinous criminal behaviour.
As you would expect, it’s Alan Moore poking the bear. While it’s about as subtle as Groucho Marx making moves on Margaret Dumont, it’s clear that even DC’s parent company isn’t above getting a public spanking from the best (and most justifiably contentious) writer in comic book history.
As for the other stories in this issue, Code Pru offers one of the funniest takes on Terminator ever, as our favourite EMT meets a Scottish cyborg from the future who’s traveled back in time but landed on the wrong continent. Modded gets the action going with the first arena battle for young Fringe, with some hilariously offensive over-the-top commentating, and The Vast offers up the best reason why you should never try to steal someone’s kaiju! Even A More Perfect Union ups the ante, as our Civil War platoon get some help from an amateur entomologist.
Every story here has hit a higher gear in this issue, and you can almost feel something magical about to happen. While the pacing of them could stand to use a little increasing, it’s more out of my own personal fear that the issues may end before their full stories are completed. However, there’s really little to fault about any of the stories this time around, and the splendid art once again compliments each tale perfectly.
If you’ve been along for the ride so far, then you’ll love this latest installment in Cinema Purgatorio. If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on one of the coolest, sleekest, most amusingly anarchic comic books available today.