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The Ultimate Danger Comics Collection: Post-Humorous    by Bill Jankowski & Mark Gallivan order for
Ultimate Danger Comics Collection
by Bill Jankowski
Order:  USA  Can
SSS Comics, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Dick Boulder takes his job seriously. As a private eye, he is often involved in dangerous dealings and puts his life on the line on a daily basis. But most of the time, he does it because it's fun and he gets a kick out of decimating his enemies. A lighter touch might not get him in so much trouble with the police, but it would be ruinous to his HBI average (that's heads bashed in for those of you not in the business). He'll tackle pretty much any case, so long as there's a good butt-kicking to be had.

Dick's adventures are kind of like crime noir, but without the noir; or maybe with a not-so serious take on the noir. He's not graceful or fully determined - he's more Gilligan than Bond. With mild hints of ADD, Dick Boulder still manages to get the job done, usually with the help of his unusually long phallic hand gun. When not on a particular job, he's out serving subpoenas with a bitch-slap of justice, if he's not confusing them for grenades. In this collection of Boulder's adventures, readers will laugh and cringe at his rather bloody and violent exploits. Six stories and many extras provide plenty of entertainment, including a new dart game and some of Boulder's greatest moments. The cartoon art keeps the pace and displays the action and violence in a way that hyperbolizes it, thereby almost neutralizing the implicit brutality.

Interestingly, this series was originally published in black and white as opposed to the color version in this edition. While black and white might have darkened the mood, this color version's brightness actually plays well with the tone. To Dick, everything is bright and good-spirited so the reflection of this by the art plays out fantastically. When not delivering punch lines (or punches for that matter), the dialogue maintains a good pace, though occasionally pages become overburdened with text. In an action comedy such as this, too many words can really work to its disadvantage. This graphic novel does it, but not excessively - only enough to be noticed.

The Ultimate Danger Comics Collection obviously won't find a home in every reader's library but there are plenty out there who will find the crazy and psychotic adventures of Dick Boulder quite entertaining. Its base humor will certainly be enjoyed by many because though it's low-brow, it's still really good low brow.

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