I honestly thought we were building to the climax of the series, but in a move worthy of Bobby Fischer, Humphries uses the wrap up of the first story arc to impel the story forward into areas I didn’t see coming. We’ve moved from sharp, cutting satire on the level of The Tudors to epic satire on the scale of Game of Thrones. As the world expands, the characters and who they could represent in the world around us take clearer focus. For instance: Who is Marlinspike, the demon that controls the strings of Jack Noseworthy? Like any special interest group, he has plans of his own and, in the end, they may not include Jack, but we see the microscope scoot past the first layer into the deeper, darker layer towards even bigger revelations concerning the machinations of what is happening and why it’s happening.
The last we saw our anti-hero Jack Northworthy, he stood before the news cameras on the eve of his own Presidential election and admitted to murdering his father. Humphries uses the aftermath of this decision to zero in on the people who need satirizing as much as the politicians: us, the voters. It’s dead-on accurate, and that somewhat-expected reaction spirals everything into new territory that, as I mentioned, was completely unexpected, drawing even bigger laughs from me.
Imagine something that you already love the heck out of surprising you even more. That’s how I feel right now. Humphries' smart story, Patterson’s incredibly expressive artwork, Jon Alderink’s perfectly selected color palettes that keep everything looking just real enough, Rachel Deering’s lettering, Dylan Todd/Big Red Robot’s design . . . everything is spot-on perfection.
This is one of those books that if you’re not reading, I don’t know why you wouldn’t start. It’s in my top five reads right now. Start reading it now. Get Jacked!