Well, time to review another gore and tit-fest. Not that I’m against such things, but, well, let’s see if it has merit beyond gore and jahoobies.
Revenge #1 (Image Comics)
Disgusting. Trashy. Sexist. Gory. These are some of the words one can apply to the film Revenge in which our “hero,” Griffin Franks, is the star of. Jonathan Ross has created a nifty little comic, in which a B-movie star whose splatterfest has made fat bank in the theaters, travels to Mexico to have experimental face surgery so he can stay looking young, and star in the sequel. It reminds me of the character Todd Pickett from Clive Barker’s wonderful novel, Coldheart Canyon. The parallel is easy to spot. Both Pickett and Franks are over-the-hill, but desperate to maintain their acting careers. So they agree to surgery, and it goes quite badly.
Ian Churchill amps up the nudity, the gore, and the fucked up splash pages. Reminiscent of Jacen Burrows work on Crossed, Revenge has plenty of gore and boobs for the extreme horror comic crowd. And it’s all done in loving detail.
Is It Good?
Here’s where we get to the meat. The thing about extreme horror, is without any substance behind it, it’s just tits and blood for tits and blood’s sake. And yes, that has its place, but it gets lost in the shuffle, doesn’t it? Revenge, I’m happy to report, has a plot which makes me want to check out the next issue. It could be stripped of the nudity and fleshless faces, and I’d still be intrigued what direction the narrative is going.
Jonathan Ross (That’s Jon Ross!) has crafted a comic, along with Chuchill, which analyzes the Hollywood culture. Putting the entertainment industry under a magnifying glass has always been fascinating to me. The nature of celebrity, the tragedy of age in an industry that thrives on the young and beautiful. It’s something I could read about for hours.
However, there is still the cliché revenge aspect of the plot, which keeps this tale from elevating itself much higher, for now. Give it a read if you dig splatter, and want to watch an old guy bang a plastic blonde. But also, read it if you like things which throw Hollywood on its head.