(Image Comics, 2014)
Story by Jonathan Ross
Art by Ian Churchill
Lettering by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Coloring by Arif Prianto and Ian Churchill
There are many times I bewail my inability to get to a comic store weekly. To work at one would be a dream, especially when something like Revenge #3 is sitting on the shelf.
I know. In recent years, with the popularity of horror comics coming back, the cover images on comics have become increasingly graphic, to the point where a “mature” shelf has been sectioned off in many stores. This is a mature audience book for sure. But I would love to be in the store when someone walks in and sees this cover. What the f%^k is that? Oh…that’s Revenge #3 from Image…yeah…it’s a Doberman’s face surgically grafted to…ah forget it. Here are issues 1 and 2 so you can catch up.
Then…you start to read it. Page one has a horny dwarf…actually…with horns on his head…minds out of the gutters people…and after a little while, it all starts to seem normal.
Jonathan Ross (Turf, America’s Got Powers) continues his mash-up of trippy, pain-induced and rage fueled images that are the story of Griffin Franks, former Hollywood B-movie star, currently on a murderous hunt for his ex-wife and her lover, who stole his face. If you haven’t read it yet, how can you not go out and start now?
Franks has had a psychotic break, the memories of his real life and his film life have become a jumbled mess, and without the time or ability to think clearly about it, he is reverting to his film roles as a means to cope. The Revenger was the role that made him famous, and that is the role that his mind is now locked in.
Ross continues with the Grindhouse feel, an ode to the violent and sexist films of the 70’s, where a man, a gun, and a pile of bad-guys were all you needed for an entertaining afternoon at the theater.
Ian Churchill’s (Supergirl, Cable) style continues to grow on me, his blood is especially drippy, the skin grafted with surgical precision, the muscles veiny and covered in gore. The action scenes are cinematic and bloody…did I mention bloody yet? There are some bloody parts in this book. And the blood, there’s some blood too.
Revenge #3 is a book that is unapologetic about the violence and sex, the gore and atrocities committed. That’s why it’s fun. You wouldn’t expect to see a dog-faced man on the cover of a comic, but Ross and Churchill said, “Hell no…but it on the cover,” and that’s why it’s good. You want Griffin Franks to win, even though he was a bastard at the beginning of the story, and he’s still a bastard now. He’s not an anti-hero or vigilante. He’s just as much a villain as the rest. But this is Griffin’s story, and you want him to win. It’s the determination of a last stand sort of moment, a lack of concern for the consequences. It’s a story all about Revenge.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.