Writers: Rick Remender
Artists: Alex Riegel & Moreno Dinisio
Letterer: Rus Wooton
The most trashy protagonist in comics is back this week for another chapter of Image Comics’ The Scumbag. I went into this issue expecting way less than what I actually got and it was a nice change of pace for the series.
We pick up the chapter with Ernie and Petal about to make love when Sister Mary interrupts their moment by attacking the Moonflower cult. Ernie then is influenced into powering the cult’s “Love Cannon” in order to help them accomplish their plans and be able to go back to getting laid.
Remender’s development of Ernie’s character finally came through in this issue. He finally shows some genuine conflict on whether or not he’s doing the RIGHT thing and helping the RIGHT people. A nice change of tone from the ‘will do anything for drugs, sex or money’ character we’ve been seeing until now. There was also big development on Sister Mary despite it being through plain old exposition.
What I think is most important about these changes in comparison to previous chapters is: it was still a tremendously funny issue. Ernie doesn’t have to be a constant Scumbag despite it being the title of the series. It is important, at least for this reviewer, to sympathize at least in some level with the protagonist of a story that Remender finally delivered.
Riegel’s work is quite mesmerizing to look at. The artist gives a lot of details to characters’ faces and applies a lot of lines dedicated to texture to clothes and hair. The anatomy of the characters is well associated with those traits. Facial expressions are where the line art shines the most, in my opinion, helping a lot with the humor as well. Again, probably a lot of credit goes to the specific choice of details the artist provides for each element in the panel.
Moreno Dinisio’s colors are pretty awesome as well. What I think is most impressive, right off the bat, is the consistency in the color palette for the Moonflower cult. The cult’s base and the garments its members wear are all colored with pastel tones. I usually notice the more blatantly color-filled panels when reviewing the work of the colorist. However, the slight change in tones portrays the environment’s lighting. They’re all quite subtle yet the difference they make is incredibly noticeable.
Wooton handling the lettering is always good news. In terms of speech bubbles, there’s not much innovation that I notice. The sound effects are where his work is at for this chapter. By the end of the issue, there’s a lot going on so we get many great variations of different onomatopoeia that help to set the pace for the reading.
As I was catching up with this title for this review I was sort of disappointed with how it was going. Although this issue may have picked things up a bit more I’d proceed a bit more careful with my expectations. The creative team is sublime in its member’s combined abilities but Remender may be trying something a bit different and it may not be for everyone. In any case, this was an excellent comic and if you’ve been liking the series so far, you definitely should pick this one up.