I’ve said in every review for Peter Bagge’s new miniseries Reset that its amazing Bagge has a book appearing at shops on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that’s the downside: The last issue of Reset arrived today and who knows when Bagge’s next creation will arrive. I guess it’s better to have had and enjoyed than to not have at all, as Reset is a great comic book and another fine example of why Bagge is probably the best cartoonist in comic books today.
Previous issues of Reset were both funny and engrossing. The shadowy company employing washed-up comedian Guy Krause remained mysterious throughout the first three issues and my hope was by the final chapter things would become clearer. While this final installment did reveal a great deal, explaining the virtual reality experiments Guy went through were government related, it never really said who was doing it…just why. Apparently, some government group thought immersing their subject into a digital reality would loosen them up during interrogation. I can see this happening in the future—a future with drones flying over American cities and being used for warfare, a world where various data corporations (Axciom for example) have you psychoanalyzed and profiled, turning your personality into an algorithm for consumerism. While Reset is a step beyond the technology of today that doesn’t mean the world Bagge creates doesn’t demonstrate the motivations behind the decisions of governments and corporations. It’s a testament to his storytelling acumen and his keen eye for contemporary issues.
Just like Bagge’s seminal series Hate, Reset doesn’t tie up in the end with a clear ending. Instead, Bagge leaves it open, knowing that he’ll probably never revisit these characters (after all, Guy Krause isn’t Buddy Bradley). Just like real life, nothing is so cut and dry and the real world doesn’t always leave you with a happy ending. Although things work out decently for Guy in the end it’s still bittersweet. Actually, most of the characters get something decent but it isn’t the idealized version of their desires; instead they settle. After all, isn’t that the way life always works out?