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The Middle Man 2.2

Posted: Saturday, April 1, 2006
By: Ray Tate

"The Winnebago Interrogation Contingency"



Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Artists: Les McClaine
Publisher: Viper

Javier Grillo-Marxauch practically takes out a bat and strikes the reader in the head. In a daze you wander through the strange world of the The Middleman. This issue involves killer robots, masked wrestlers, ex-boyfriends and sharp-tongued sensi all mashed together in a satisfying narrative that actually makes sense.

Sensei Ping has been kidnapped by a group of Masked Mexican Wrestlers. It's up to the Middleman to find him and free him. The plot sounds as streamlined as looks the artwork by Les McClaine, but Grillo-Marxauch twists the story as if it were an arm caught in a Mexican Wrestler's hold.

Grillo-Marxauch finds a means to tie in what seemed to be two less important sub-plots. Wendy's roommate recently scored a job at a Hooters-styled restaurant. This becomes integral in the story and also in lacing in the second sub-plot, Wendy's ex-boyfriend Ben, who is still an ass by any account.

The Middleman comes up with a plan that's foreshadowed in the intricate design of Ida, bad-tempered robot facilitator of the Middleman. He also disappoints Sensei Ping, which shows that Ping didn't just have it in for Wendy last issue. He pretty much finds flaws in everybody.

Despite being outnumbered, the Middlemen, if we include "Dubbie" Wendy, seem to have the upper hand, but Grillo-Marxauch combines all these elements into a chaotic final that very plausibly produces a cliffhanger ending.



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