Television & Film

Planet Rusty is getting Crossed and Screwed


All right friends, time to take a walk through my little corner of the internet & babble for a bit on what’s tickling my fancy in the world of comics! This time around let’s look at a couple books with subject matter that’s always had a hold on me.

One person grins and the others scowl??  Yeah, we got a conflict of interests here.
One person grins and the others scowl?? Yeah, we got a conflict of interests here.

In the “Late To The Game” department, I’ve started checking out Crossed from Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows, brought to you by the folks over at Avatar Press. While I haven’t been the biggest fan of what Avatar has had to offer in the past, I’ll always try out stuff from Ennis and I’m always a fan of “post apocalyptic survival” stories, so I decided to pick up Volume 1.

So what is this one all about? Glad you asked! Imagine there’s a disease spreading like wildfire that instead of the usual zombie plague, turns people into raving psychos all about murder, rape, destruction, and sporting a rash that makes a cross across the infected face (at least it makes them easy to see in a crowd), with the uninfected doing what they can to hide and survive in a search for safe haven. Best way to describe the infected? Imagine the Reavers from Firefly, add the cross rash, and there you go. And put a premise like this into the hands of Garth Ennis and Avatar Press, who you know as well as I do pull no punches in storytelling, and you can pretty much expect what you get. Oh yeah, this one is far from being for the kiddies! Why not? A story where the population has turned into violent freaks, why should the book shy away from showing what the survivors have to deal with?

In the end, so far I’m liking what I’ve read. Let’s be honest, the surviving a plague and dealing with dangerous infected is starting to get a little played out. With this Ennis is taking the premise and throwing gasoline on the fire. I described it to a couple friends as Walking Dead, but not as happy. Just imagine being a character in this book, cause these aren’t run of the mill zombies types. These infected psychos have just enough ability to think and reason left over that they will track you down, and when they get you it won’t be over quick. Add that to the typical worries and woes of survival and you’d think dealing with some brainless zombies is a stroll in a rose garden. Garth Ennis has done it and sucked me in again, and between the other collected volumes and the current run it looks like I have a little catching up to do!

Let’s move on to another story premise that’s always grabbed me, that being the Frankenstein mythos!

Doctor doctor, gimme the news.......
Doctor doctor, gimme the news…….

Screwed follows a young woman who awakens in a hospital covered in scars as if she had been taken apart and put back together again; her mind as fragmented as her body. As she tries to piece together what’s happened to her, she will find many enemies are after her but she’ll also find a valuable ally in FBI Agent Erin Scott. That’s the synopsis of Screwed, given to us by the publisher Zenescope, writer Tyler Kirkham and artist Keith Thomas. Zenescope is another publisher that’s never really been a favorite of mine, what with the cheesecake covers that are used to sell some stories that aren’t that great, but that old story of someone stitched together from corpses always hooks me in.

“I’m a teenage Frankenstein, the local freak with the twisted mind.” ~ Alice Cooper.

A patchwork woman named Anne, just like the synopsis says, wakes up in a hospital being attacked by a deformed man named Suture, but manages to fight him off with some out of the ordinary strength. Escaping the hospital she sees regular people as monsters while trying to piece a couple fragmented memories together to find out where she came from. On her trail is the FBI agent Erin Scott, a secret agent named Simon Beckett (who has an obvious secret motive), and Suture and the higher up that he answers to. Screwed, to me, is the way a first issue should be. We hit the ground running with action, we get our leads introduced in a proper manner, the story clips along at a good pace, and we have just enough questions asked to want to come back to the party for issue two. Kirkham has set up some great momentum for this story, and hopefully it’s something that continues.

The only gripe that I have with the book is the art. I got the copy with the Kirkham illustrated cover and it’s some good looking stuff (as seen above), and while the Keith Thomas art in the book is good (not great), I’d rather see Kirkham take over the art as well. Ah well, there are worse things and I’d rather have this than pencils that may get rushed by Kirkham or art done by someone that is completely sub par. A fun book like this, I’m more than willing to look at the glass half full.

That wraps it up for this round for me, but the fun and my ramblings never stop. I keep it up over on Twitter with @RusWJ! Between the ramblings on there and me attempting to document my latest comics goal, getting the whole Marvel Star Wars run (in a pathetic excuse to relive my youth) there it should be enough to entertain you or at least make you glad that you aren’t me!

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