Writer: Rick Remender, Artist: Jonathon Wayshak, Colours: Moreno Dinisio, Letters: Rus Wooton.
Moon Flower's ray gun was supposed to send thoughts of whoever was in the bath attached to the gun, but when Ernie fell in, that was their plan ruined. Now the entire world is made up of people who look and think like Ernie. He was the ultimate outcast, the big F-You to the system, but now he finally has a place where he fits in. In three minutes however, the works will stay like that, and now sister Mary and Moon Flower agree that this needs to be changed back—but will Ernie really just give up paradise?
Over the past 8 issues, my feelings about this series have been well documented. I have had some issues with the ever-changing artists, and the writing at times, but mostly it’s been fun. This latest issue was one hell of a ride; I would say it’s probably the best so far.
Let me start with the writing, Remender has had some political issues thrown into the series that made his title character rather topical. Ernie is a relic from the '60s-'70s with his attitude towards the government, his abuse of drugs, and his willingness for “free love.” He was and still is the Ultimate Rebel. That’s why the first couple of pages of this book were actually quite powerful and emotional. Although you may disagree with the way he does things, or his abuse of substances, overall Ernie is just someone who wants to fit in. He doesn’t want to be a “scumbag.” The emotional connection that we have had with him up until now makes this issue even more heartbreaking, when you just know that his newly created "works," cannot continue to exist.
It’s not just the emotional heartache that we get from this issue, there’s also so much fun to be had. In previous reviews I’ve stated that this series is at its peak when it has the most fun. As long as it doesn’t take itself too seriously, or for that matter, you take it too seriously, a lot of enjoyment can be had from it. For me, nothing was more fun than the great delivery of one particular scene (shown above), where Ernie is running around wanting to stop everyone from reversing the effects of the ray gun. When I got here, I couldn’t help but think of two dimensional platform games that I grew up on and spent hours playing. So this really made me smile.
As per most of the series, we have yet another new artist. Overall the art was pretty good, but there was a couple of panels that just felt off to me. For example the picture above. The mouth is just a little too wide for my liking. Instead of Ernie looking happy and overjoyed at the situation, to me this comes across as more creepy, which also happened in another panel. However the "2D platform game" page was amazing and we get some inter-dimensional time travel too (this is what I mean when I say the crazier the series gets, the more fun it is). This is where the art is at its best, with the dysmorphia of Ernie and the later cast giving them a warped perspective and making them look menacing. Which is precisely the point, combining to give the best double page spread of the series so far.
Overall the series has its problems, but the fun outweighs them. I’m still invested in the character and I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.
Scumbag issue 9 will be released from image on 28th July from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology