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Comic Book / Soda

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Packin some holy heat.
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:

  • 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.
  • Bulletproof 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.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Soda often refers to his mother Mary by her name. However, he does directly adress her by "mom".
  • Canon Discontinuity: The Blood-Stained Pastor completely ignores what happened in Resurrection. Case in point: the Twin Towers are still standing and Pronzini is still alive. Not only that, but it and the 2023 reprint of the first 12 volumes no longer list ''Resurrection''.
  • 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.
  • Chronic Pet Killer: Pronzini has a different pet in each books who never last long.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first book, Mary locks her apparement and forces Soda to gives the password. This routine is dropped later on.
  • 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.
  • Every Episode Ending: The last panel of each book shows the lift of Soda's building with an item he left behind.
  • Everybody Lives: Thou Shalt Not Rub-out is the only volume without any death making it Lighter and Softer than other issues. A corrupt cop is seemingly shot dead by gangsters but he's later revealed to have survived thanks to a Bulletproof Vest.
  • 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, a short overweight middle-aged man, manages to sleep around with just about any woman (including Linda once).
  • Leap and Fire: Not so effective as it usually is in fiction.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In Letters to Satan, Soda apparently causes the death of several deaths by writing about their fictional deaths on a cursed typewriter. It turns out that the writer Williams is the actual killer. However, years later, when Soda faces a criminal, the latter gets struck by lightning while his mom writes "Heaven help you" with the same typewriter. This causes Soda to freak out and throw the item away.
  • 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.
  • 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.