Somehow, it's even worse than I thought it would be. Given the tone of this series so far, that's obviously saying a lot.
As expected, the one-eyed guy from last issue, Mash, comes after Debbie and Teddy for revenge. We learn that he's not just some random guy that Constable Dent attacked: he and his friends were the original gang that embarrassed Teddy on film and forced him into becoming Dent. Debbie and Teddy go on the offensive, and, as we watch them fight, Mash recounts how Dent brutally murdered or maimed most of the gang when he eventually found them. For example, he ripped off Mash's brother's arm, set it on fire, and used it to burn Mash's face. (Creative.) Throughout the fight, Mash tries to justify the gang's actions as kids as innocent fun. In fact, he claims the high ground here, saying that he's trying to purge someone as violent as Dent from the Garden. Thankfully, Teddy is having none of it, reminding Mash that he was also just a kid and that they beat him into a pulp in front of his girl and filmed it for fame and profit. In his words, too fucking bad that he didn't like getting burnt with his brother's arm.
The fight ends as Mash faces Teddy in solo combat, with Mash claiming that he's the fist of judgment and Teddy saying that he's just engaged in petty revenge. However, Kazumi arrives before Mash can deliver the killing blow, exiling him from the Garden for turning his back on his pledge of non-violence. She attempts to heal Teddy, but Mash stabs her with his spear instead. Enraged, Teddy kills him, just as the rest of the Garden's residents arrive. They believe that Teddy has killed Kazumi, and Teddy flees as they fire arrows at him. Debbie arrives on the scene, and everyone tells her that her man killed Kazumi. However, Debbie tells them that they were ambushed, and Kazumi mutters her name. Debbie has the crowd bring Kazumi to town; the fact that Kazumi's pet fox alights on her shoulder may imply that she'll be the one to succeed Kazumi. Meanwhile, Teddy returns to their ship. He decides to get one more fix to heal his wounds, and it activates the computers in the ship. (I thought that it was still within the emp field, but maybe the field isn't as strong with Kazumi injured?) Davey Trauma appears on the screen, telling Dent that he's late for work.
When I started this issue, I was just afraid that Teddy would be expelled from the Garden when he was forced to defend himself from Mash. When Kazumi blamed Mash, I was elated. I should've known better. Now, we get to the crux of the matter: Davey Trauma and Flak have been manipulating events to bring Dent to consciousness within the emp field. Again, we still don't know how they did it. In fact, again, it's unclear if the emp field is even active at all. Did they manipulate Mash and his buddies into attacking Teddy as a distraction to give Mash time to kill Kazumi? Was it always the plan? I guess we'll see, though I'm scared of the answer.
*** (three of five stars)