What happens when a story appears to be a revamp or rip-off of a popular film, but then you realize halfway through you judged unfairly and in fact, the thing you’re reading is so damn original you can’t help but love that it surprised you? Scum of the Earth #1: is it good?
Scum of the Earth #1 (Action Lab Entertainment)
By the cover (and my introduction) you’d probably think this was some comic book version of Natural Born Killers and after the first six pages you’d be pretty much validated. The two main characters are psycho killers who are on a road trip across the country. They kill with impunity and don’t care much for being anything but murderers.
Smiles are important!
Then writer Mark Bertolini flips this thing on its head and blows away all expectations. I won’t ruin it here, but let’s just say there’s a science fiction angle you never saw coming. The comic proceeds along as you’d expect after a brief reveal, then things get turned way on their heads on the last page. What we have here is one compelling yarn due to an unsuspecting plot development that should keep all science fiction fans at the edge of their seats. There’s tons of questions to be asked, not least of which who these protagonists are, so expect this issue to be all about set up and mystery and not a lot of delivery when it comes to answers.
The art by Rob Croonenborghs is pretty damn good too. It has a cartoony vibe with what looks like watercolor over the line work. The style helps cut back on the ultra violence so it’s less disturbing and more acceptable as an event in the book. It also makes the story less scary and more focused on the greater story being told behind the scenes.
Now that’s odd, isn’t it?
Is It Good?
When a story comes along and proposes to be something it’s not with a delightful surprise you should take notice. There aren’t enough completely original stories out there worth your time, but this one takes the care. Recommended.