Monday, April 30, 2012

Repairman Jack is Controlling My Life

I am thoroughly hooked on the Repairman Jack books. I really, really like the character a lot - way more than I ever thought I would. He's a more sensible version of The Punisher, and mostly does his revenge work for money.

Authors I am not reading.

I finished the second book, Legacies, a couple of days ago and immediately started on the third book. I think I'm going to tear through these pretty quickly, even though there are 15 of them and another 6 in the Adversary Cycle. But anyway, Legacies opens with Jack being hired to recover a bunch of donated presents that were stolen from a childrens' AIDS hospital. This shit is right up his alley. Jack loves to go after scum like this - because seriously, no one but scum would steal from a bunch of AIDS babies (and the Repairman Jack universe doesn't have Northstar).

Bitch, don't make him take his earrings out.

 Jack finds this guy, but before he goes after him, dresses like Santa but with weighted gloves, a Kevlar vest, and steel toed books. Originally, Jack was only going to kick this guy's ass, but then the thief takes a shot at Santa. No one tries to kill Santa and gets away with it.. So, Jack ties this asshole to the front of his van, puts reindeer antlers on his head, and drives him up to the hospital with all the presents and lets someone else call the police. This is my kind of justice already, but it's all even funnier since in my head, Jack looks like Gerard Butler. Or Clive Owen. Or maybe both of them together - Butler Owen.

Today is a Gerard Butler day.

Jack ends up working a personal case for the woman who hired him to find the stolen presents. The whole thing plays out like an extended episode of Law and Order SVU, but with Jack's special brand of retribution. He's like Detective Stabler on crack - punching first and not really bothering to ask questions. My favorite moment comes toward the end when this mercenary character is yelling for Jack to come out of hiding and put down his weapons. So Jack just kind of emerges from the woods, out of bullet range, and gives the guy the finger. The best part of that instance is we see it from the point of view of the woman the mercenary has hostage. So, there's this woman just marveling at the sheer size of Jack's balls as he does this. It's pretty awesome.

This has nothing to do with Repairman Jack, but its awesome.

Now, according to my brother, Legacies doesn't really have a lot to do with the rest of the series. It's his least favorite Repairman Jack book. I liked this book well enough, but was a little disappointed that Jack seemed to be just another character in an ensemble cast. Wilson writes these books from multiple POVs, like A Song of Ice and Fire, but before ASoIaF.  100 pages into the third book, Jack has more of a presence and this makes me happy. I like being inside Jack's head. Jack is the sort of person I would like to be if I could operate outside of conventional society. I honestly think a lot of us would be like Jack if we could.

This series is total wish fulfillment, but Jack is a well developed, neatly sketched character with more personality in his little toe than Batman has in his entire body Plus, Jack does the vigilante thing on a budget. Take that, Bruce Wayne!

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