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
, death, religious terminology
, and, of course
Soda provides examples of the following tropes:
- Acrofatic: "Baleinos".
- All Men Are Perverts: An incident with Babs.
- American Churches
- As the Good Book Says: Of course.
- 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: Soda himself.
- 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.
- Bad Habits
- Battle Amongst the Flames
- Bedmate Reveal: Several times.
- Blood from the Mouth: Played realistically with most wounds to the body.
- Blown Across the Room: Played realistically.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted.
- 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 fe 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.
- Click Hello
- Da Chief: Soda's first boss, Bergamo.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Soda. Also his father, who was a sheriff in Providence.
- Disappeared Dad: Soda's.
- Dodge the Bullet: Usually doesn't end well. Just like Gangsta Style.
- Drives Like Crazy: Guess who?
- 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.
- The Faceless: Soda's father.
- 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.
- Guns in Church
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Soda wears a priest's suit and carries a large gun. Lampshaded repeatedly.
- Hot Rod: Some vehicles.
- Human Shield
- I Did What I Had to Do
- Laser Sight: Played realistically.
- 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.
- Psycho for Hire: "Shredded Meat" Callaghan.
- Pocket Protector: A Bible.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Soda's gun.
- Samus is a Girl: One of the bounty hunters who are after Soda's mom.
- Secret Identity Change Trick: Usually in the lift of David's apartment building. Hilarity Ensues when an old lady steps into it while he's not wearing any trousers.
- Shooting Gallery: Using (a picture of) Captain Pronzini's head as the target.
- Shoot Out the Lock: Only possible with Soda's Hand Cannon.
- Showdown at High Noon: In a dried riverbed. With a storm coming up. Interrupted by flood.
- Sidekick: Babs, Linda, etc.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Certainly cynicism. Especially book 12.
- Sniper Rifle: Usually used by killers for hire.
- Stop or I Will Shoot!
- 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.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Thememobile: High Performance Three-wheeled Police Scooter chasing trike at over 60 mph in rush-hour New York. Yes, it ends with a massive accident that kills one bad guy and leads to the above-mentioned Easy Amnesia.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Usually inverted. Played straight in a few cases.
- Trigger Happy: More than one character.
- Villain over for Dinner: Soda comes across a hit man he was after — amiably chatting with his mother.
- Watch the Paint Job: What?
- "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.