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Indie Spotlight – The Many

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In this review I’ll be gazing into the abyss of The Many.

The Many is written and drawn by Charlie Gillespie.

The story opens with two of the major recurring cast members, Dave and Jack, who are British nationals being tortured in a Turkish prison. After a brief conversation, there is a quick cut to the United States military squad just over the hill waiting on the green light to wipe out the Turks. The Americans commence mowing them all down in a hail of bullets. Afterward, they rescue Dave and Jack yet continue to treat the Turks as hostiles.

Another quick cut to the main protagonist of the story, Tommy, and we find him chained to an old man chanting gibberish. Tommy soon finds an little patch in the dirt in which he is all too eager to place on his tongue and proceeds to go on an acid trip. He starts to hallucinate and tears out and cannibalises the old man’s still-beating heart. Somehow doing this unlocks Tommy’s ability to call forth a swarm of locusts, which he uses to levitate out of the pit he was in just in time to save the other main character, known only as Big Man, who functionally becomes Tommy’s sidekick later in the story, from the American air strike bearing right down on their heads.

p1p13The second chapter of our tale is mainly flashbacks revealing why the main characters are where they were when the book began. We are also introduced to two other major recurring characters named Trish and Jane. They all get word that an old friend named Lena is back in town and that she has a son also named Jack. Last, but not least, we’re also introduced to a liaison to the U.S. Military known only as Number Five and his consort, Mona.

In chapter three we zoom back to the present where Tommy and Big Man are standing outside the grave of Karl Marx. The two men have a politically charged conversation. Then Tommy inexplicably goes on a killing spree. Then he and Big Man have somehow made it to the park where they draw a giant pentagram, presumably with the blood of Tommy’s victims. Next, Tommy is standing atop a soapbox preaching in the park and is soon surrounded by hundreds of followers. That’s about the time we see a cameo of two girls who dialogue suggests they are time travellers.

Meanwhile Lena has mysteriously fallen into a coma. Jane and Trish are at her bedside in the hospital. It’s also noteworthy that a goat-man demon that no one can see is hovering around them. Tommy continues his political preaching. Now, the local news has caught wind of it. Insert random satire of British Parliament dressed in drag and bondage gear and the implication that they are all deviant sex fiends here. Back to Tommy’s soapbox. His pro-communist rantings continue to drag on and on continuing to escalate civil unrest until he receives a phone call informing him the he’s been chosen to be the next representative of the Labour Party in the big election coming up. Cut to Tommy in the middle of a debate with other candidates live on the major cable news network.

p3p13Chapter four opens with Tommy and Big Man taking a break from the campaign trail to go visit Lena in the hospital. Surprise, surprise! Tommy is the only one who can see the goat-man demon. Didn’t see that one coming. Cough. Anyway, the goat-man reveals “the young lady is hexed and is dying.” He and Tommy continue to have a conversation about other satanic nonsense. Speak of the devil and he doth appear. Now the story takes a turn for the bizarre as we enter techno pagan hell complete with it’s own baby harvesting system and the individual who is most feared and respected, Number One. He even got his own little Igor-like manservant named, Islam. Mona walks in to represent Number Five. Number One continues to explain his plots and schemes, not that they really make since, but he gets an A for effort I suppose.

Meanwhile, Number Five is taken to where Jack and Dave are being held. Once here, he reveals himself to be a vampire and kills Jack. This prompts Tommy and Big Man to rush over to a corrupt realtor’s house. Tommy once again pulls his killing and eating the heart schtick. From here, he summons another swarm of locusts that create a magic portal for him to reach through and snatch Dave from Number Five’s grasp as he was about to be eaten.

p3p10To begin chapter five, Tommy, Big Man and Dave have dug up and resurrected the corpse of Karl Marx. The guys just let zombie Marx roam free. He is soon followed by the pair of time travellers who we’ve now come to find out are called “M” and “D”. Tommy, Big Man and Dave go journeying off in another direction when they come upon a corporate tower. They proceed to go in like the own the place and on up the elevator. Once they reach the top floor, they run into none other than Number Five who has his own tactical firing squad this time. Zombie Karl Marx, M and D randomly show up out of nowhere and blow everything up with a rocket launcher. The blast blows zombie Marx away who attempts to catch himself on the arms of Big Ben but slips off and fall to his second supposed death.

The story finally concludes with Tommy, Dave and Big Man out on the street unscathed and talking with the media in what I can only guess is some tragically ironic hipster ending.

The tone and point of view are clearly that of a bleeding heart liberal who supports communism and anarchy.

I haven’t seen a story move along this incoherently since Ang Lee’s Hulk movie. I personally hated this book because I can not abide who push their personal political agenda and disguise their propaganda as entertainment. If I wanted to be preached at I’d go to Church. I absolutely would not recommend this book to anyone for any reason.

 

The Many is available now on ComiXology for 99c/69p.

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