The Complete Accident Man

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The Complete Accident Man collects the three story arcs originally published in the early-nineties in Toxic! and the Dark Horse Comics Mini-Series, which came a bit later. Thus the collection is indeed complete, which is a pity because at the end of it I was flipping forward through imaginary pages wanting more.

Created by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner Accident Man is Mike Fallon whose speciality is making his hits look like complete accidents. Accident Man is that sliver of the 90’s that I remember so well. That piece of forbidden fruit that was full of sex and violence that me and my friends knew existed but weren’t able to eat. But we knew it was there because we saw glimpses of it in window displays, on TV, and we whispered about them in hushed voices in school hallways. And here, with this publication, I can finally retake my childhood and actually pretend that I was there all along. Because enjoying The Complete Accident Man made me feel that I was doing something so naughty and terribly wrong.

It’s Tarantino before Tarantino.

It’s John Wick twenty-three years ago.

The Complete Accident Man, Page from Howard Chaykin
Martin Emond set the tone and style of Accident Man

I don’t know how Pat Mills does it. He thinks of things and puts them out there before they end up becoming mainstream. I sincerely believe that there’s a conspiracy against Mills because there has to be. Everyone must be copying and stealing from him.

Mills and Skinner are delightful. Accident Man starts out as a simple concept but as we follow Fallon’s outrageous journey (and his big ego) the stories become more layered and something weird happens. Fallon is a complete asshole, a douchebag, and an absolute idiot. But by the end of it we end up liking him, even rooting for him. Eventually you want him to kill these people. You need him to have his expensive toys and his clothes made from endangered species. And then you’re shocked and horrified that you thought these things.

The Complete Accident Man - Page by Duke Mighten
Duke Mighten continues the absurdity.

And all this can’t possibly work without the three artists that worked on this. Martin Emond and Duke Mighten each bring their own style to the panels but they keep the overall tone. And John Earsmus does a fantastic job keeping that going with his three part mini-series from Dark Horse Comics. It’s pure grunge. It’s Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains mixed with James Bond. The style brings out the outrageousness and it really makes you smile. I’ve never chuckled and laughed at such violence before and that makes me feel disgusted with myself. And I can’t help it.

This is what comics in the 90’s should have been, or rather should have stayed being. This brings purpose to the big muscled, big boobed characters saying awful lines of dialogue while doing farfetched things. The 90’s did have so much promise.

The Steel Fist Technique

The Titans publications does it justice. What better way to look at the sex and violence than with high amounts of gloss that makes these pages shine? And despite it’s shine, it still retains that underground dirt. You feel like you’re somewhere deep in a tunnel, surrounded by questionable characters who offer you a drug or two.

And there’s a movie. Mills talks a bit about it in the introduction from 2014 and the movie came out in 2018. So I’m curious and also scared at the same time. I don’t know if Accident Man could work in a movie because you couldn’t take that amount of guilt and watch it in real time. It’s like if porn could speak to you. But I know I’ll yield and I’ll watch it, and I’ll probably be disappointed. And it doesn’t matter. As long as I can get another Accident Man fix.

Things can get a bit weird thanks to John Earsmus

I can’t recommend this book enough. But one tip to you dear reader. If you do pick this up then read it in secret. Because if someone is looking over your shoulder as you do so, then that someone will think you’re the most vile, disgusting human being on Earth. To which you will reply,

“But you’ve obviously never met Mike Fallon.”

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