The Scumbag #14 ADVANCE REVIEW: "The Difficult Finale" strikes again.

Writer: Rick Remender, Artist: Roland Boschi, Colours: Moreno Dinisio, Letters: Rus Wooton.


ISSUE RECAP: Mother Superior's ship has crashed into the centre of New York. At least half of the agents on board have died. The others are exiting the ship into an open conflict between Moonflower and Scorpionus. The ideological war has turned into the next civil war with no end in sight. Sister Mary is hellbent on completing her mission of assassinating Ernie (The Scumbag), but he’s saved at the last minute, causing him to throw in the towel and give up. With no hero in sight and conflict taking over the city, it looks like the end to common decency and the beginning of a hot conflict.


It’s been over 3 months since the last issue. I had to go back and re-read the last one just to remember what happened. I tried to look into why there was such a heavy delay, but could not find anything, which is only the first frustrating thing about this issue.

Unfortunately, I have to go into spoilers to explain my disappointment with this issue. The series has gotten a rocky time from me. Going back to the first arc where Ernie confronted “the right” in the form of Nazi sympathisers Scorpionus. The group wanted people to be more traditional, hence why they had a weapon to turn everything back to the 1950s. Then the second arc introduced Moon Flower (the left) outraged monsters who want to censor everything to keep people from being upset. I was skeptical at first, because I felt you shouldn't alienate half your audience by attacking one political faction, but my skepticism was quashed when writer Rick Remender made just as much fun of the other side. This I thought was done well, using Ernie as the figurehead. However, all that good work has been undone in this issue for me personally with Ernie wanting to unite everyone; he actually criticises Scorpionus more than he does Moon Flower. Remender even uses real life events rather than ones that took place in the series. This unfortunately for me comes across as partisan, exactly the thing that Ernie was rallying against.


The other, biggest problem I have with this issue is the ending. It’s never easy to end a series in a satisfying way. No matter who you are, there’s always difficulties in trying to wrap things up, but there is one thing that it seems most people I know are fully against, as it’s an easy out for any writer. The plot thread of "its all a dream" is the most infuriating thing to ever come across when you’ve invested time into a medium. That’s not exactly done here, but it’s the Ernie equivalent, and when you’re audience has invested almost 2 years into this character and the series, it actually feels like a slap in the face.

Moving on to the artwork. Roland Boschi has been consistently good, and it’s still good in this final issue, but the bigger point to talk about is: Remender wanted to try having a different artist each month over the series. This has failed for me on 2 counts. 1) as that was his mission, you had 14 issues of which 2 were drawn by Eric Powell, and the 4 by Roland Boschi, so by that standard the experiment has failed. 2) Back in the first few issues, I picked up on a point where art changes like this will disrupt the consistency. This has now been proven. With the last few pages taking place during issue 1, but from a different artist. This causes some inconsistencies with the character, for instance, Ernie's underwear his different, which I’m sure would have been spotted if it was drawn by the same artist.


Overall, for what started as a funny, satirical look at society unfortunately devolved into a parody of itself. Where the writing wasn’t as strong as it was in the beginning, I also feel that the changing art didn’t help the situation, as I mentioned above. There was a couple of good parts to Ernie's speech and the art was consistent enough over the last 4 issues, but still nothing to salvage a POP rating of just 1 out of 5. It’s a shame when the landing isn’t stuck.

 The Scumbag issue 14 will be released by Image Comics on 3rd August from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology


Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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