Writer: Simon Oliver
Artist: Darick Robertson (p), John Lucas (i)
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Plot: Part 4 of the "Crossfire and Collateral" story arc.
Comments: The Exterminators was created by Simon Oliver and Tony Moore, but we havenít seen Tony around any bugs lately. Although I love Mooreís art since the first issue of The Walking Dead, Iím also a big fan of Darick Robertson ever since he worked on Transmetropolitan.
This book features some pretty strange characters that have Robertson working hard for his pay check. But if there is one guy in the comic business who can handle creepy characters, you can bet it's Robertson. The greatest asset that Darick brings to this book, to my mind, is his superb way of distinguishing all the different characters. When you look at Henry or Stretch the way they look and feel strengthen their personas. Robertson can draw an amazing face any how, any time, any where.
This issue in particular involves a cast of at least ten different personalities. Every face has his own unique features, which shows you that Robertson has spent maybe his entire lifetime studying the human anatomy. For his characters Robertson doesn't just provide one kind of nose, or one type shape of a head. No, each nose is different and each face has its own unique features. That shows you what a great artist Robertson is. Great drawings bring so much more to the table than just lovely pictures; they suck you deep into the heart of the story.
The first pages start out with a bang! Well, actually itís a "boom." Simon Oliver switches from one scene to the next faster than lighting to show us what happens when an ice-cream truck gets blown to smithereens. The lettering of the word "boom" flows all over the panels, intertwining time and space.
Just as President Bush likes to think that every war starts with a boom, in this case it is actually true. Bullets are flying through the air like an autumn rain storm. But it doesnít seem enough. Henry and Stretch have to run for their lives to keep ahead of a tsunami of bloodthirsty bugs. They seek refuge in a warehouse with weapons all around and some drug dealers who didnít learn how to be good hosts:
Drugdealer: "So what the are you two then, EDA, FBI, CIA or some of them really f#$%ed-up Green Beret Special Forces Mother-F!@#ers?"
Henry: "No. Worse then that."
Stretch: "Weíre Pest Control Specialist."
This book gives you the creeps and the chuckles all at once. Absolutely brilliant. Simon Oliver scripts are tremendous, and I have been loving The Exterminators since its first issue.
His dialogues are vivid, original and damn funny. Oliver writes great scenes, which all strongly tie into a fast saga. Itís like a spider web. All threads are dangling in the wind seeking their own path, but they're all connected, ready to catch the fly (a.k.a. us readers).
Yesterday was a sad day for me when I learned that American Virgin has been cancelled. Letís not let that happen to this book Iím willing to put my hand in a fire (or my head in an unlit gas oven if you prefer that) that you will love The Exterminators. Grab all the trades, or better yet, get on the wagon of the monthlies. Demand from your comic friends that they should start reading this.
I will make this promise: The first reader who starts up a thread in our "In the Line of Fire" forum about The Exterminators will win a grand prizeÖ
of a lifetime supply of cockroaches to decorate your house with!
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