Writer: Rick Remender, Artist: Matias Bergara, Colours: Moreno Dinisio, Letters: Rus Wooton.
Using the portal, Ernie has assembled a rag tag team of degenerate heroes to fight the forces of Moonflower and Sister Mary’s team combined. However, as these are also scumbags, they might not be able to stop the other side from reversing Ernie's utopia. Is there a bigger picture at play here though, and will Ernie learn some life lessons during this super powered battle?
We have arrived at the final issue of the second arc. Writer Remender has managed to craft what I believe to be the best issue of the arc so far. I was critical of the series during the first arc; knowing we are living in rather polarising times, for him to go so hard onto one side politically was a bold move. This could have alienated half of the audience. He then went to the other side during the second arc. Under any other writer, this could have been disastrous. Within six issues he could have pushed away all the readers, or he could have shown people how stupid some of the infighting is. Fast forward to this issue, and Remender has set up a battle between the lovably yet seriously flawed Scumbag team and the powers of Moonflower and the Central Intelligence, while also making people seriously think about how they carry themselves and push their beliefs on others. “They inserted washed out politics into their diatribes desperate to infer some relevance and thoughtfulness from the juvenile power fantasy.” This is one of a few quotes within this issue that really do cause the reader to have some self reflection. I have been very critical of comics recently with so much politics within them. We used to have comics that were political yet never pushed the writer's own opinions on the reader. Things like Watchmen or V For Vendetta, although heavily political, caused debates and never made people out to be caricatures or straw man arguments to be knocked down. These I believe made us smarter as a collective; we could disagree on how things are done but we could do it respectfully and we could understand where the other side were coming from. Too many books nowadays are the complete opposite, which just causes more division between us. With this issue, it feels more like a classic book, where we can have these debates again. All of this from such a “scumbag” character just shows how masterfully created this series has been written so far.
On a funnier note, we are treated to some interesting takes on some of the most iconic catchphrases of characters, obviously with a Scumbag twist that had me laughing at each of the references. This lightened the mood for such a heavy comic. Which is strange to say considering its title.
When it comes to our protagonist, in a way Ernie is the everyday person. He’s the middle ground that doesn’t lean left or right and can point out the flaws in both. He wants people to be happy and eventually sees how wrong he was to try and have his perfect utopia. However when Sister Mary says he needs to do what’s right, it’s the same thing again and again; people are being told what to do and how to think by others, and Ernie says “you’re saying I’m wrong and you and Central Authority are right.” At the end of the day, who has that kind of power to determine what is just and right as we are all human and are subject to human error?
When it comes to the art, again it’s been a talking point to this book. With the artist changing a lot, we don’t get much consistency. This issue is fine, nothing great but nothing poor, however I do think the stand-out performance here is the colours by Moreno Dinisio. There’s so many different colours in play here that it’s just an explosion all over the pages, and it looks fantastic. A reference is even made within the book itself about how colourful the fight was. As you can see above, it was a beautiful sight to behold.
Overall, this is without a doubt the highlight of the series so far. The writing is so strong here that I’m dubious how it can be topped by what I would believe be the final arc. Along with the stunning colours and you have a stunning issue that might be able to stand on its own, but I wouldn’t advise reading just this.
The Scumbag issue 10 will be released by Image Comics on 15th September 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.