Monday, 20 September 2010

Lomax and Luke Malone, in Police Action #1.

Lomax and Luke Malone, Atlas Comics, Police Action #1
Whether you were on the streets of the Big Apple or the waters of the Big Foggy Place With The Trams, one thing was certain, it wasn’t smart to get too close to anything explosive - especially if that explosive was a dame. Lomax, NYPD, could tell you that, and so could Luke Malone, PI.

Maybe that’s why they stalked their cities’ streets alone.

Or maybe it was because their habit of hitting first and asking questions later meant they had no friends.

Either way, both found themselves dealing with men who’d faked being blown up in order to cheat the mob. In one case, a crooked cop and, in the other, a crooked boxing manager. Either way, because of their schemes, two innocent players had taken an eternal residency in the theatre of the dead.

Well, you might be able to escape the mob but you can’t escape the truth, and soon Lomax and Malone were proving that.

Not that they did it alone. They had help. Lomax, from a guy the world knew only as Mike "The Brute" Sekowsky, and Malone from a guy they called Mike "Man-Thing" Ploog. It was good help. It cast them in a good light. It let the world see that Lomax spent all his time with a cigarette in his mouth, and his hands in his pockets. He was relaxed. Relaxed but sharp. Malone was sharp too. Dishevelled but with a mind like a steel trap. He could spot things, like the fact a chauffeur might be wearing a ring that could only belong to a supposedly deceased boxing manager.

But even “The Brute” and “The Man-Thing” couldn’t disguise one fact. That, for all their remorseless efficiency, there was something oddly familiar about the pair. When he looked in the mirror, Lomax couldn’t help wondering if he was just Kojak with hair, and Malone couldn’t help noticing he was a cross between Philip Marlowe and Clint Eastwood.

Did they care?

Lomax, Atlas Comics, Police Action #1They didn’t seem to. They’d been around long enough to know the score, that, to survive on the mean streets of comics distribution, a man must play a part, be it a saint or a sinner and, even if it’s a part that’s been played a thousand times, still it must be played again. It was those cities. Those great, tawdry cities. New York and San Francisco. They were those kinds of towns.

Atlas Town was that kind of town too. And, as the rain once more lashed its sidewalks - as though trying to wash away a deal based on anger and a need for revenge - Lomax and Malone knew it. They knew that in Atlas Town you either played the part they’d given you or you didn’t belong there. A man might try to break the mould, to be something new, something different but the grinding wheels of the print room would roll right over you until, three months down the line you couldn’t even recognise your own face anymore, as though you’d been replaced by a totally different character bearing your name.

And then? You disappeared, never to be seen again.

But then, there was hope. Hope that those who’d bought a one-way ticket out of Atlas Town might be seen again. Rumour was a guy they called the Phoenix had managed it - and a guy who only his friends called the Grim Ghost. Those guys who came back, would Lomax and Malone be amongst them?

Only the rain could know. And, like every double-crossing dame you ever met, right now it wasn’t telling.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...