Leporiphobia sufferers beware; it’s all about the bunnies in this installment of The Ride. Oh, and you will never think of the children’s song “Little Bunny Foo Foo“ the same again.
Vega reluctantly jumps in head-first to solve the murder of Nance and find Annabelle. We aren’t talking dimly lit interrogation rooms with someone tied to a chair, but instead a full-blown knock-down, drag-out, head-bashing spree. What other way is there to grab the attention of the folks you need answers from? She is not alone in her quest. Aided by Foo the leather bunny and Albert, his gritty, pierced friend, they tear up the town in search of answers. There are a few funny moments with Albert during the fight scene, peering over the car window, maple syrup-ing a guy and the dinosaur on the playground.
After a brief nap conveniently placed to allow a dream sequence, the local baddies show up at Vega’s room. Before we go into that, let’s talk about this catnap. The way that Vega has been developed thus far, as a tough, take-no-sh*t kind of woman that doesn’t rely on anyone, I find it hard to believe she would take a quick snooze in this situation. Vega is driven to find Annabelle and enact justice for Nance. The adrenaline alone from her rampage should be enough to keep her going. But alas, we must move the story forward and this nightmare is pivotal to the end of this chapter.
Vega’s nightmares continue to shed light on Frank’s ride and Vega’s crimes. There is an internal battle of good and evil in her latest dream sequence that suggests the car may be trying to or even able to control her. Is it truly a demon car or has Vega used it as a crutch for her deviant inner self?
This chapter concludes with the return of an old enemy and another potential vicious crime. Readers are left wondering if Vega and crew will get be able to stop it. Writing in a chapter format can lend itself to a slow buildup — I felt that too much time was spent on Vega arguing with the cop. He’s an ass who doesn’t value Vega or anyone else from the club, move on. That being said, the reader’s interest is piqued by the end and you are left hearing “Tune in next month to find out…” in your head.
Before I move on, a quick shout out to the colorists Martin and Kirchoff for the outstanding use of purple in the closing bar scenes.
Onto the secondary stories or the backstories of the Burning Desire staff. In the first issue we were introduced to Sparkles and last time we met Ash. Now it is time for Foo’s story and it is as dark and unsettling as the others.
I can only imagine the terrors of war and taking another’s life, as I have not lived it firsthand. Wagner places you in the heart of the tension and fear of Afghanistan as Foo stealthily navigates through a town on foot. It is nighttime and the only lights are that of fire bombs, scopes, and bullets. You imagine what it must be like to keep yourself sane in this type of situation. What would you be saying to yourself, singing to yourself? How fast is your heart beating as you slowly turn a corner and enter a doorway, knowing full well that each corner could result in a deadly face-off?
You have been sent here to eliminate a threat. You are trained to do so and are able, but what happens when that threat contains an innocent? These are the stories that alter lives.
Did I like it? Get behind the wheel of The Ride for a winding road of dual storytelling that drives deep into the heart of what shapes a person.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!