Monday, March 29, 2010

'Tyranny Rex' is a fun read

Tyranny Rex
Writer: John Smith and Chris Standley (with Steve Dillon)
Art: Steve Dillon and Will Simpson
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Tyranny Rex is a sexy Sauran, a human-appearing reptillian species. She is a celebrity performance artist and "trouble-shooter" who moves back and forth across the boundaries between legal and illegal as she sees fit. She is wanted for crimes and random mayhem in some starsystems, while she is just wanted in others.

The "Tyranny Rex" graphic novel reprints the earliest "Tyranny Rex" stories from the long-running British sci-fi comic magazine "2000 AD." They feature an equal mix of humor and action, and they're all fun reads, as Tyranny moves from making illegal clones of classic rock stars, protects Vid-stars from psychotic fans, and defending her body-sculptures from psychic cowboys. Although the book seems to end Tyranny's story quite nicely, the character appeared in several additional installments of the comic series, as well as a few short stories by creator John Smith.

The "Tyranny Rex" graphic novel might be a bit hard to find, but if you can get a copy, I think you'll be entertained. You might want to look particularly hard for it if you're a Steve Dillon fan, as the first half of the book is illustrated by him, and they are full of the sort of gross physcial humor and comedic violence that he has become known for through titles published at Marvel Comcis and the DC Comics imprint Vertigo. (This is early Dillon art, so his style is still a bit rough, but he was good even back in the late 1980s, the period from which these "Tyranny Rex" stories date.)

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