Comic Book / Soda

Soda is a European comic written by Philippe Tome, with art from Luc Warnant for the first two books and, from book 3 onward, Bruno Gazzotti. It elegantly mixes serious business, religious themes (often tongue-in-cheek or parodied), guns and the results of their use, extremely spectacular accidents, and humour. Soda is likely one of those comics that could come into existence only outside the United States, as it has all the elements to totally infuriate any religious person.

David Solomon is a priest in New York. At least, that's what he tells his kind and old mum. Because she has heart problems and would get a heart attack if she ever discovered he is a police officer. Commonly known as "Soda" to anyone in New York who is not his mother, David's daily life is filled with violence and death. Both of them often involve a handgun that could put down an elephant with one bullet — Soda's handgun, obviously. Assisted by fellow cop (and romantic partner) Linda Tchaikovski and other fellow cop Babs, Soda has numerous adventures in New York, as well as a few back in his home town of Providence, Arizona. Each adventure is served with copious amounts of bullets, destruction, death, religious terminology, and, of course, humour.

Soda provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amnesiac Costume Identity: One story has Soda suffer a milder form of amnesia in which he doesn't forget who he is, but what he does: instead of a cop pretending to be a pastor for the sake of his sensitive mother, he acts like an actual pastor, condemning the violence of his fellow cops and being nice to his mother's evil cat.
  • As the Good Book Says: One story has Soda dress as a priest in order to get in a prison. The warden calls his bluff and quotes a line from the Bible, but Soda gives the following one correctly.
  • Auto Erotica: Soda and Linda in a BMW Z1 without a roof in the rain: referred to as a bathtub. Complete with interruption by cop (who asks whether he should film everything and sell the story to Real Police Stories).
  • Badass Preacher: Soda, obviously, but his uncle (an actual priest) is a contender as well. At one point when visiting Soda, the uncle is caught in a gang war and is almost ready to throw a mook into a burning car.
  • Bullethole Door: Averted. It takes a lot of bullets, and the only door to break down is a wooden one that was pumped full of bullets from a submachine gun.
  • Bullet Holes and Revelations: The source of a repetitive nightmare David has.
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Again, played realistically. One character only survives being shot multiple times at point blank range by wearing two vests (and he still gets hurt by the impacts). In a later book, two cops are not so lucky and are badly wounded despite wearing bulletproof vests and kevlar helmets.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Every book gets darker, but Pronzini gets hit with it the worst: He goes from Da Chief to it being revealed he lost a few toes in Vietnam and his wife to some other guy, to having lost his daughter in the World Trade center attacks, and the CIA has blackmailed him into shooting cops who show insufficient patriotism ever since 9/11 by threatening to kill his daughter, who survived, and being killed by Soda.
  • Easy Amnesia: In the 11th book, an accident causes Soda to become amnesiac. As a result, he starts to behave like a real stereotypical, perfect priest. Justified in that he's played the part so well for his mother, it's likely become ingrained in his subconscious.
  • Fingore: Soda is missing two fingers on his left hand from an accident in his childhood.
  • Gorn: Sometimes crosses over into Bloody Hilarious.
  • Guns Akimbo: And how. Once combined with a coffee cup.
  • Kavorka Man: Babs manages to sleep around with just about any woman (including Linda once).
  • Leap and Fire: Not so effective as it usually is in fiction.
  • Muse Abuse: Writer Williams checks people around him as inspiration for the characters of his books. He suggests Soda to use the same trick as his ghostwriter.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Soda calls Babs during an emergency... just as Babs and his wife were lounging on the bed with champagne glasses.
  • Southern-Fried Private: If one were to take this comic strip seriously, Columbine-style shoot-outs caused by cops dressed as priests would be daily world news. On the other hand, most things without guns are portrayed fairly realistically.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Soda, sort of. His father told David he'd be a man once he managed to throw a horseshoe on a clock so it flipped around and landed on top. When he finally succeeds, he finds a posthumous letter from his father, who was always ashamed of taking bribes as sheriff.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: The mistress of New York City's mayor turns out to be a man.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Babs' wife is not happy about her husband's philandering, but he seems to always make up for it.