3 out of 5
Well-tamed insanity. I believe I’ve echoed similar sentiments before, but no one writes the special Badger breed of nonsense like Baron. Badger, of course, being completely incidental in a tale of Dog suicide bombers, a war-inciting popstar named Chastity Slut, Three Stooges terrorists, snake used as nunchucku and more, but our cast of Ham the wizard – here reduced to a party trick-wielding errand boy – psychologist Daisy Fields – new to cocaine – Riley – once-fighter, then-monk, now-celebrity bodyguard – Mavis – still Wife – and Badge hiseverlovin’ self, are just enough of an anchor to keep Baron from going completely into the stratosphere, crafting something like a plot that sort of justifies five issues.
Badger may save the world within, but no worries if you don’t find that snippet sneaked between all the hijinks, though to be fair, most of those hijinks are tangential to Pavolv, member of terrorist organization NACHO, in relation to their world-ending (?) plot to off Ms. Slut.
Indirectly hilarious is the inability for a Badger series to land a consistent artist. We start with Kevin Caron, whose rough-hewn style works well with 90s-era IDW’s overly-computery print look, but by issue three you can tell he’s a bit rushed, and sure enough, here comes Alberto Dose for issue 4 and 5. Dose is actually awesome, with a confident but simplified line style that complements John Hunt’s bright colors, but anyone would struggle with Baron’s scene-change-a-panel pacing, and I don’t know if Mike has yet been matched with someone who seems to get all the puns he packs into the page, save our earliest Badger artists.
Not the greatest return (volume 4 is preferred), but definitely keeps the spirit alive, has a good time doing it, and holds the record for longest plotline in the series of series.