Ernie’s got the power, but has he the heart to save everyone? ADVANCE REVIEW of Scumbag #2

Writer: Rick Remender, Artist: Andrew Robinson, Colours: Moreno Dinisio, Letters: Rus Wooton.

Sister Mary tracks down Ernie, since Scorpionus has world ending plans and Ernie’s the only one with the powers to save everyone. She’s able to convince him to take the mission using his one big weakness, a suitcase full of drugs that would make Hunter S Thompson blush. Not convinced by his ability to save everyone, Sister Mary explains to her superior, Mother Earth, that Ernie is probably better off dead. Although as he’s about to find out, he has the powers to complete the mission, but does he have the conscience?

The Scumbag was a real surprise for me last month, having not heard much about it, I was intrigued about the possibilities. After reading I was hooked. Loved the prospect of a despicable human being being the one person who could actually save the world. Written in a way that you both love and hate Ernie, which I thought was refreshing. The biggest draw for me was the art by Lewis Larosa. How comic art could be both beautiful and disgusting, walking the very fine line between the two. Showing each crease in Ernie’s face, or the saliva drooping from his mouth, or even other excretions from other orifices. It was a true wonder to behold.

Unfortunately it came as a slight shock to me, that in issue #2, Larosa was replaced with Andrew Robinson. Now I mean no offence to Robinson, the artwork on this issue is good, but it doesn't have the depth of Larosa's. It seemed to lack the detail that made the first issue both wonderful and revolting. I looked into the reasoning, as often when a writer is replaced, it’s due to differences with the publisher or setbacks to the art forcing the book to be delayed. This however was not the case, Rick Remender told “It is very hard to get an artist to commit to one book for a long run. It’s a lot of investment, harder still is getting a really great artist to sign on for a long run. So, I had the idea to lure in a bunch of my favorite artists to each do a single issue.” This is a shame, as I did really love the art in the first issue. However, the artwork on show here is still good. Nothing I can complain about.

The writing by Remender is as expected, continuing the story nicely, while introducing us a little more to the secret team trying to bring down Scorpionus. We also see a little of Scorpionus themselves. After Ernie finally believes he’s in too deep, he runs away, straight into an armed guard who mistakenly misreads one of Ernie patches of the band The Scorpions for his organisation. Which was rather amusing. So Ernie is taken to their meeting, where we get to see the head of the syndicate talk about their plans for world domination using a “gold bomb”. This over the top reveal just took me back to classic Bond movies where the antagonist always has an extravagant and diluted plan for works domination using some crazy gadget. This is just what the series needed to go from disgusting and crazy to over the top insane.

We also get some great action scenes where we can start seeing what powers Ernie has, and how good Sister Mary is at her job.

Despite the surprise at the change in art, this is still a strong issue 2. Now that I know to expect another artist, hopefully it won’t be as much of a shock. This still ranks as one of the most fun I’ve had with a book in a while and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. Rick Remender is creating a fun and disgusting satire on the spy genre. Which I would highly recommend everyone to read.

The Scumbag issue 2 comes out on 25th November from your local comic shop as well as digitally at comixology


The Scumbag #1

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