A bear in combat armour.
Let’s face it, I could leave it there and some of you would pick up Endangered Weapon B. The idea is gloriously, ridiculously over the top and in the hands of a lesser team the book would coast along on that image.
David Tallerman and Bob Molesworth are much, much odder than that.
So, instead you have the Professor, two-fisted British adventurer and pith helmet enthusiast. He’s accompanied by Tilly, a Polyneisan woman so brilliant she built a functioning AI out of wood and Banjo. Banjo is a bear in combat armour. Banjo, as pointed out in the introduction, is far from sure he’s happy about this arrangement and works through his feelings with creative amounts of ursine, power-assisted violence.
Also they steal artefacts.
And there are two Monster islands.
And some Nazis.
Endangered Weapon B is frantic stuff, running headlong at you like an angry bear in a suit of combat armour. It’s also brilliant fun. Molesworth’s style is gorgeous, full of hyper scientific looking equipment and characters who sell the comedy as much through expression as action. He’s got a rock solid eye for design and timing and his work is open, friendly and consistently lovely.
He’s also the perfect partner in crime for Tallerman. I’ve had experience of David Tallerman’s perfectly deployed sense of the absurd for a few years now and it never fails to disappoint. Standouts here include how Banjo responds to Dracula (Violently), how Banjo responds to Squid Squad 7 (Violently) and how Tilly responds to everything the Professor says (So very nearly violently). The humour runs the gamut from subtlety and wordplay to, well, everything Banjo does. It’s relentlessly silly, very funny and ace. I want them to do more of it. Possibly with the jokingly mooted Endangered Weapon K…
Endangered Weapon B is as joyous as an angry bear in combat armour. Which is, let’s face it, fortunate. It’s out now and you should absolutely read it.