By Leroy Douresseaux
August 11, 2009 - 14:06
|Black Lagoon Volume 7 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “M” for “Mature”
The Black Lagoon is a modified, 80-foot, Elco PT boat (a World War II torpedo boat), and its crew is a small group of mercenaries that operates on the waters off the coast of Southeast Asia. In fact, they’re the baddest group of mercenaries on these waters. Dutch the Boss is the boss. Benny the Mechanic handles the boat’s complicated high tech. Revy Two Hand is the ultra-lethal, gunslinger, and Rock, the corporate crony formerly known as Rokuro Okajima, just ended up part of the crew. Through Dutch’s company, Lagoon Traders, they operate a maritime courier service out of Roanapur, Thailand, but the big money comes from their side job – piracy.
The “El Baile de la Muerte” storyline, which began in the sixth volume, takes up the entirety of Black Lagoon, Vol. 7. Roanapur is in an uproar because Roberta, the Lovelace Head Matron, AKA “the Bloodhound of Florencia,” AKA the “Killer Maid” is back. She’s on a mission to avenge the assassination of her boss, Diego Lovelace. Diego’s preteen son, Garcia, who is now head of the Lovelace Family, has come to Roanapur hoping to retrieve Roberta.
With Roberta’s subordinate Fabiola (also good with a firearm) in toe, Garcia seeks Lagoon Traders’ help, as they’re… familiar with Roberta. Most of the crew want no part of Roberta or her mission; only Rock is willing to stick his neck out for Garcia and Fabiola. However, Roanapur’s crime bosses understand that the objects of Roberta’s hate are so powerful that a war with them could ruin Roanapur, so they have to do something.
THE LOWDOWN: The nonstop explosive action of Black Lagoon is certainly done with high Hong Kong action movie style, nefarious wit, and unanticipated intelligence, but the reader must not be fooled. Black Lagoon is about bustin’ a cap in someone’s ass and then putting a cruel foot up that grievously wounded posterior. This is the comic book that Marvel Comics’ The Punisher wants to be, but lacking the balls, it can never be, though Garth Ennis has tried in vain.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: If shoot-‘em-ups are your crack, then Black Lagoon belongs in your pipe.