That headline on the cover tells how issue #2 ends and leads us into a world outraged by those events. Rioting and civil unrest at the outcome of the brutal goings-on bring us quickly into the attempts of some of the Royals to escape the control of the show but of course, that backfires quickly and we get the first two kills in an issue crammed with a rising body-count.
Each kill seems to bring us down further into the depths as John Farman gives us an increased uneasy feeling at the violence but that uncomfortable feeling is in-line with the bigger questions he wants to ask about the real world we live in. The strange sense of achievement at each kill gives that ‘them vs us’ vibe a far more tangible outlet as Farman’s plot and Howard’s artwork create the kind of book that you kinda want to look away from but know that there’s no way that you can.
That vibe is built on further as we see the TV’s attempts to justify the actions, probably in response to the rioting on the streets, with an attempt to give a human face behind their thirst for death entertainment. Something that I found myself getting on-board with more as the issue closes with two unsuspecting “celebrities” being brought into the studio for an interview only to end up being tasered and prepped for their addition to the TV survival show.
That’s the thing about Royal Descent – there’s an instant appeal because it helps us play out some sick fantasy where the people with power such as the Royals & celebrities are completely swiped off their pedestals and forced to amuse us. An extreme way to get a point across but sometimes that’s the most effective way to challenge the status quo. Strong ideas poured onto the pages from Farman’s plot then get wrapped up in the glorious sheen of Howard’s artwork and the feeling of disgust fades to become a more satisfying feeling pretty quickly.
There’s no question that Royal Descent may continue to generate some sort of back-lash as those in the pockets of the powerful will defend their overlords but the climate we find ourselves in now in the UK seems to favour the right of the people to question those in power at every opportunity. This latest issue continues the brutal, unrelenting but somehow glorious progress of those first two issues and if you take the time to read & re-read these you’ll hopefully find far more on offer like I did.