Uh-oh! A mysterious big-bad!
Hey! That's Shredder's armor in the background of panel one. Even I forgot that was there. That's a fun Easter Egg, 2004 Tim and when paired with the dialogue it strongly implies this big bad has faced Shredder and collected his armor as an artifact for his collection. He must be tough!
That little box with the chopsticks is one or two illustrator drawings and it shows. I applaud 2004 Tim for trying to speed up his workflow but he's got work to do. In time I had my own Reckless Life stock library for things like Locke's gun and such and by the end, it got pretty seamless but we are NOT there yet.
That aside these two just trade villain dialogue but once again this story isn't 2004 Tim not being creative these leans into genre convention are very purposeful and I immediately play them for laughs on the next page...
"Disturbance time!" is one of my favorite jokes/lines of dialogue in all of Reckless Life. This book is definitely a comedy now.
The Rising Sun casino is very obviously based on The Imperial Palace which is long gone. (It was where the Quad is in Vegas is now.)
2004 Tim is much better at drawing casino exterior and interiors than his predecessors. This is starting to look like a real casino though it's still not quite crowded enough because drawing extras is a lot of work. There used to be a bunch of slot machine sound effects on this page that made the second panel feel less empty but apparently, this is one of (mercifully) few Reckless Life pages that didn't save correctly. I have a deal with myself not to George Lucas this thing so I'm presenting this as I have it.
I can tell by the nose on that cocktail waitress that I was getting into Jim Mahfood's work at this time. That's a classic Mahfood nose.
This is another page/gag that I really like. Locke scopes out all of the stock "ways to break into a building" and because this isn't his caper he decides to just be lazy and go ahead and create that promised disturbance. That last panel and its Batman 66 dutch angle isn't too shabby either.
NEXT TIME: Someone is, in fact, home.