The Scrouge #1 Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Story 6.0
Art 6.5
Value 5.0
Total 5.8
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Release Date: 1/9/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Ryan Matsunaga

5.8


The Scrouge #1

The premier issue of The Scourge, written by Scott Lobdell, seems to define both the best and the worst of action tropes. From an extensive "voice-over" introduction, to cardboard character archetypes, to hackneyed (yet admittedly funny) attempts at humor, The Scourge screams B-movie. 

The series follows NYPD SWAT officer John Griffin, who finds himself in the middle of a monstrous epidemic. One inadvertently (and conveniently) started by his best friend who he was traveling with. The virus infects people through cuts, and then quickly takes over their bodies turning them into monstrous demon things.  

One can only assufme that it's up to John Griffin to save New York, and he's going to have to kick a lot of ass to do so. I say assume, however, because there's surprisingly little action going on in this issue. I read the "#0" preview issue, and while it actually takes place sometime after Issue 1, it features a hell of a lot more gratuitous violence. This really wouldn't be an issue if The Scourge had much else going for it. Unfortunately, it really doesn't. 

As I mentioned before, the series so far seems to revel in b-movie camp, playing on the best and the worst tropes of the genre. Without some awesome action, there really wasn't anything holding my attention. Even for a 21-page comic, the story takes far too long to set up the world, and when it finally does, the issue ends before Griffin is allowed to show off why we should like him as a character.  

The issue also falls prey to the dreaded "telling, not showing" syndrome. It tells me that Griffin is a total badass. It tells me that his family issues are bothering him. Yet, I never really got a good sense of either during the issue, outside of what the comic outright told me of course.

Otherwise, the story really isn't too bad. It's got me interested to see how it progresses, and while I'm not totally into any of the characters, the virus is definitely a change of pace from your typical "infection"-themed comics. It might not have blown me away, but it's not a terrible debut; there were certainly one or two moments in the comic I really dug. The artwork in the issue is also fine, if nothing special. It's a good look for the comic, but it's definitely not anything we haven't seen before.

Overall, The Scourge is a solid comic, but for US$2.99, you could probably find something much more worthwhile. I'd recommend holding out for a few months to see where the series goes, and if buzz starts building, then maybe think about throwing down a few bucks for a collected volume.  






 
 



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