Eddie Blake goes a little crazy in L.A.
Before Watchmen: Comedian #3
Robert Kennedy calls Blake in Hawaii to find out exactly what happened during the Watts Riots in L.A. It turns out that once he came home from Vietnam, that he’s not exactly considered a hero of the American people. As the hours unfolded and he continues to see riots and protests on the news, he decides he’s going to do something about it. With his face painted in the signature “have a nice day” smiley face, he heads out and wreaks havoc on the streets. He even goes so far as to make it easier for the rioters by shooting out the windows and letting them loot businesses – also making it easier for the police to justify their actions in the racially charged atmosphere.
It gets to a certain point when I have to wonder how something was developed and why it goes in the direction it does. I will be the first to admit that I’m actually quite open minded when it comes to this whole event. I also am quite open minded about telling stories in different ways. However, this mini-series seems to be taking advantage of this open mindedness.
Eddie Blake is a pretty intricate character. This alone makes a six issue mini-series a difficult pitch. Of all the characters in the original Watchmen story, Blake was the only one who had a deeper connection to the past and the present in the entire timeline. Throughout the story, we learn a lot about who Blake was, how he handled situations, and what he meant to everyone. What we didn’t learn, and certainly didn’t need, was why. It’s likely he was simply a youth that fell through the cracks early and was only out for himself. As that spiraled through the years, he was more and more willing to do things others weren’t, and soon, he was being asked to do those things. It’s also possible he was simply psychotic and masqueraded as a mystery man because it kept him out of prison. Either way, these were the logic jumps we could take from what we knew. In a way, it made him a lovable character. It certainly made him that much more interesting and mysterious. Nevermind that his death started the entire story to begin with.
What I don’t really need is to see what these first three issues have shown us. Not only that, but these first three years have taken large jumps in time. There’s been at a year of time in between each issue. It’s hard for anyone to actually latch onto a story and actually see him in action. The first issue, we saw him as the bestest buddy of the Kennedys. The second, we see him as a ringer for the army in Vietnam. Now, he’s home and utterly off the deep end. Brian Azzarello has done a great job showing Eddie descend into a pretty dark place in his personality. That’s all fine and dandy, but the jumps show no real linear reasoning to back up this descent.
I could go on forever about this. I really could. It’s a frustrating title because it’s trying to explain things that didn’t need explanation. The other books thus far don’t try to support why someone is the way they are in Watchmen. They’ve picked a specific time or point to examine a person’s life. The Minutemen series is a different story, but that’s jumping from one time to the next to show specific moments when things have gone sour. That’s more like a history text book way of exposition. Comedian is being treated more biographical but with just a bunch of disjointed moments when he did some heavy shit.
J.G. Jones’ art is pretty awesome regardless of the issues I’ve had with the series. But the series feels like it is trying to find that magic moment that led Blake down the path that would eventually lead to him being tossed out his apartment’s window. It just misses the point that Eddie Blake was this way from the very beginning.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|More than solid artwork from Jones.||Series is too confusing and seems to try to play psychiatrist to find where he went totally loopy when he was already insane from the start.|