Friday, July 23, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: THE SCUMBAG #5

IMAGE COMICS/Giant Generator

STORY: Rick Remender
ART: Wes Craig
COLORS: Moreno Dinisio
LETTERS: Rus Wooton
DESIGN: Erika Schnatz
EDITOR: Will Dennis
COVER: Nic Klein
36pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (February 2021)

Rated “M/ Mature”

The Scumbag is a comic book series from writer Rick Remender.  Described as a “comedy espionage series” by publisher Image Comics, The Scumbag's tagline reads, “The fate of the world rests in the hands of the worst person on it!”  The series features a rotating crew of illustrators.  Artist Wes Craig joins colorist Moreno Dinisio and letterer Rus Wooton to complete the current creative team.

The Scumbag is Ernie Ray Clementine, a rundown, raggedy, filthy man.  He is a profane, illiterate, drug-addicted biker and ne'er-do-well with a fifth-grade education.  However, he meets Sister Mary and “Central Authority” and inadvertently absorbs the power-imbuing serum called “the Formula Maxima.”  Now, Ernie is the only thing standing between humanity and total Armageddon... because he has suddenly become the world's most powerful super-spy.

The Scumbag #5 opens in Scorpionus Mansion, the home of “The Prosoma,” the leader of the reactionary cabal, Scorpionus.  Sister Mary is kicking ass and stealing the information that will help her uncover Scorpionus' ultimate plan.  Meanwhile, Ernie Ray is all about making deals with the devil.  Their mission will take them to “Whole Green,” where Scorpionus makes cheap bio-fuel and hires poor people as employees.  What are they up to?  Well, both Sister Mary and Ernie Ray are in for some awful surprises.  Plus, Ernie Ray has to make a political decision!

THE LOWDOWN:  I didn't have a lot to say about The Scumbag #1.  I had a little more to say about The Scumbag #2.  I said that with The Scumbag #3 the series had hit its stride.  The Scumbag #4 offered some of series creator Rick Remender's sharpest political, social, and racial commentary yet.  The Scumbag #5 brings together all the interesting things that Remender has been doing with this series, thus far.

Yeah, Wes Craig's art seems like drawing it was a rush job, and Moreno Dinisio's colors looks smeared in places.  However, Remender's story and dialogue allow reactionary, right wing politics, white cultural chauvinism, unrestrained capitalism, American imperialism, white male disdain to have their say.  It's funny, but it's also scary.

I sometimes think that Scorpionus is the future of our United States, but I can laugh now because it's just a comic book.  And I recommend this comic book, The Scumbag.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Rick Remender, of mature comedy, and of reprobate-type anti-hero lead characters will want The Scumbag.

7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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