It's the penultimate update of LVN!
Locke: the action hero who gets a krick in his back if he has to do too much action!
Having had enough action, Locke bursts into the main villain's chamber like a Karen demanding to see the manager at the grocery store. It appears he's momentarily forgotten this is not a ninja movie.
This first piece of dialogue from ??? is of course lyrics from "In the Ghetto." Locke is taken aback (in a fun circular inset panel that reminds me of old Marvel covers) both because why would someone do that AND because ??? is accurately being shockingly accurate about Locke's backstory which I've barely hinted at to this point. (You, dear reader have no idea that's the case at this point so you should probably re-read Reckless Life at your every available opportunity.)
Once again, nothing says "action hero" like trying to convince the big bad guy to just leave you alone. Locke doesn't really care what kind of misdeeds these guys are up to he just wants out.
And then -- the big reveal.
This Elvis-impersonating ninja was one of the very first gags I came up with when I wrote this story and it KILLED me to wait this long to drop the punchline. It is without question one of my favorite character designs in Reckless Life's nearly 400 pages.
I love that Locke just can't contain himself and it's a pretty good drawing of him just losing it.
Pages 42 and 43
I can't get enough of this Elvis ninja and I can tell 2004 Tim was into him too as this is a pretty solid action page. I was definitely having a blast drawing this guy.
I'd always wanted to do one of those "hero punches the bad guy and he doesn't even feel it" gags so here it is.
Page 43 is a rare one with no red and I question that call on 2004 Tim's part, especially for the last fight of the book but otherwise these panels have some decent movement.
Sweep the leg, Johnny!
That's some solid movement in panel one, too bad 2004 Tim ruins it with one of those ink blob shortcuts in panel two.
Once again exhausted, Locke goes right back to trying to bargain. Unfortunately, he's trying to reason with a stock bad guy who isn't going to have it. Once again, I lust love the way Elvis looks in the final panel on this page.
NEXT TIME: The End! (Of this story but not Reckless Life!)