Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Rudiments of Wisdom

I was so keen to find more comics like the Captain Britain series by Paul Cornell that I went on the dreaded Amazon - and found Rudiments of Wisdom, which focuses on Pete Wisdom and MI-13 (the British government department for Weird Happenings).
So - they send a helicopter gunship to Avalon to stop a fairy invasion (John the Skrull and Captain Midlands are along for the ride).
The giant Pantagruel awakes under a village in rural England, giving everyone there bad dreams.
Pete Wisdom provokes a fight in a Cardiff pub by making anti-Welsh remarks, to bring the Red Dragon into the open. That's The Red Dragon of Wales, Y Ddraig Goch, who has forgotten his glorious past and is now a thug and criminal. And there's a Bruce Lee look-alike to fight him.
A man who runs Jack the Ripper walks around Whitechapel opens the door to all the alternate universes where the different theories about the Ripper are true, and brings them through to this one - and then HG Wells' Martian war machines arrive, and the Skrull Beatles get the band back together....

I enjoyed this immensely.
There are some lovely in jokes, like Pete Wisdom's boss being called Mr Grimsdale (anyone from Albania would get this joke instantly, because for a long time the films of Norman Wisdom were about the only films that were allowed to be seen there - and his boss in the comedies was Mr Grimsdale. When Norman Wisdom visited Albania, he was treated like a superstar.). The dialogue is witty and intelligent, the female characters are well rounded, and there's a sub-plot where Pete is making a bit of a mess of choosing between the two women in his life, Tink the fairy (who he has to keep happy to keep her father Oberon, the King of the Fairies, happy) and Maureen Raven, who is a clair-sentient who works for MI-13.
The art, by Trevor Hairsine and Manuel Garcia, is also very good indeed.

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