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Message updated 6th Mar 2021

Thursday, 21 October 2021

The Art of Roa - 2. The Captured Commando

Roa - Robert The Commando
Robert, the hero of Captured Commando is another idealised warrior, but of the modern era. There's a doll-like, Action Man/GI Joe element to this realisation of him but the crotch detailing suggests a more adult viewpoint. Robert might be a model, physically perfect soldier, but that will avail him of nought when he falls into the hands of the enemy.  

Roa - Run Faster Robert
Like Graham, the story of Robert, the captured commando opens with him being paraded naked through his captor's camp but it's very different show to Graham's glorious arrival. These soldiers drag him by his balls behind a speeding jeep. There's no crowd to watch, a row of washing hung out on a line shows camp life proceeding, unmindful and indifferent to his misfortune. 
The punishment, like Graham's is designed to humiliate him and demonstrate his captor's power over him, but unlike Graham's 'captured hero' treatment, Robert is deprived of his dignity and his very manhood is mocked in a degrading manner. He's exposed to serious injury if he fails to keep up and stay on his feet and the way his captors toy with him has an element of insanity about it which is more frightening to the victim than simple violence.

Roa - Robert is Groped
Robert's interrogation shows similar disturbing tendencies in his captors. Stripped to his camoflage underwear his cheery interrogator gropes inside, playing with the inflamed organ and implying the threat of sexual violence if Robert doesn't talk. The soldier's superior watches with interest, casually lounging in his chair with pistol raised threateningly. It's a chunky-looking weapon that reinforces the sexual ambiguities in the scene.
Roa's characters in this story present no age difficulties, they look exactly the age of real life soldiers, early adulthood, an age that adds believability to their unconventional treatment of him.

Roa - Robert Threatened With The Whip
As the interrogation proceeds, the exasperated young questioner turns to cruder methods of persuasion, but his cheery smile suggests he was hoping for just this opportunity to engage with his captive. He looks fit and strong with the physique and unpredictable emotions of a young jock. Helplessly spread and threatened from behind Robert can't believe the horror of what is happening, but his still-bulging pants suggest emotions fermenting which are more complex than simple fear.
Roa creates a distinct sense of  cultural difference between these antagonists that contributes to the sense of uncertainty, but it's racially neutral, both men having a mix of oriental and anglo-saxon characteristics.
Roa - Robert is Whipped
Robert howls in agony as the whip is applied to his back with gusto and a peverse pleasure is evident in his cruel captors. There's evidence of other punishments on Robert's body here too. At this point you suspect it doesn't matter if he talks or not. He's the pawn in a sadistic game.

There are strong similarities between this story and BrosFate's 'Captured Soldier' which was featured at mitchmen blog last year. That's true of the plot, the compositions and imagery and the technical style too, thanks to the use of the same rendering software which is evident in the distinctive, agonised face of the captive here which is also seen in BrosFate's work and is something of a rendering cliche. That is not to detract from either artist's work, they each bring something different to their interpretations of the storyline. Robert here is physically a very different man to Frank, who is Brosfate's soldier and that is enough to make a difference. The popularity of repetetively-themed erotica like Dreamboy Bondage illlustrates that putting different men through the same familiar scenarios has no shortage of interest for fetish fans. As comedians sometimes observe, knowing the punch-line of a joke can make it funnier. It's the way you tell 'em!
More Roa in Part 3 next time at mitchmen
Read this series from Part 1

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