Overview

For a Limited Time Only! Scud Returns!

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Has this ever happened to you? You want someone killed and you hire an assassin. But he either bails out on the job, has a fit of conscience, or stays alive long enough after the job is finished to rat you out to the cops. Don’t you wish there was a better way?

Well, there is! Introducing the Heart Breaker Series 1373 model disposable robotic assassin! Found in better vending machines everywhere, you simply put your money in, tell the intelligent robot who you want to kill, and it does it. Better yet, after the job is done, the machine will self-destruct. No muss, no fuss.

Unless, of course, that model looks at the tag on the back and realizes that he will blow up real good if his target dies (Note to manufacturing: perhaps you should change that). Then he might put his victim on life support to stave off his own demise. If that happens, there is also a chance that he will go rogue and become a mercenary to help pay for the hospital bills. Multiple adventures may ensue, many of them funny.

Welcome to the world of Scud, The Disposable Assassin, the series that does to the world of sci-fi what The Goon does to the world of horror—provides a uniquely humorous dissection of the genre while giving us some very good stories in the process.

The first 20 issues of Scud were published between 1994 and 1998 and quickly became a cult favorite. The series gained a fair share of notice, as it made its way into not one, but two video games, was optioned for a movie (the option has since expired) and rumors of a Scud action figure is still circulating around the net.  

Scud is the brainchild of Rob Schrab, who got his start as a sketch comedian in Wisconsin. It is his unique comedic sensibilities that brought Scud to life and made him so popular.

Scud #20 ended with a cliffhanger as Schrab moved out to Hollywood to begin to build a name for himself. He was co-creator of the cult website Channel 101, he co-wrote one of the best pilots that never made it be a regular series—Heat Vision and Jack (starring a just-before-they-became-famous Jack Black and Owen Wilson) and co-wrote the Oscar nominated animated film, Monster House. He is currently a writer/director/producer on Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program.

You might think that the last thing Schrab wants to do after he’s become a Hollywood player, would be to go back to Scud. After all, I love comics, but I think we can all admit that they are a bit of a step down from writing an Oscar nominated movie.

But it’s obvious that Schrab loves the character and couldn’t bear to leave Scud’s story unfinished. Tomorrow’s issue will be the first of a four issue arc that will wrap up the storyline once and for all.

In case you haven’t guessed, Scud was the robot assassin that discovered his own disposability. His target was the female monster named Jeff, and when Jeff dies, Scud dies. Jeff is currently on life support at a hospital, and Scud takes whatever black ops jobs he can to help pay to keep her there.

His new job brings Scud in contact with cyborg mafiosos, a voodoo practicing Ben Franklin, and a transdimensional rocking horse. Such is the weird and wacky world that Rob Schrab created.

Fans of Scud have waited a decade to find an end to the story. Now, his creator and Image Comics make it worth the wait. But that doesn’t mean new readers can’t jump on as well. If you like a comedic bent to your sci-fi, you might want to check this one out.

Also out this week:

Uncanny X-Men #495:

The Messiah CompleX crossover is now over. Bishop has turned into an attempted baby killer, Cable has taken the first mutant baby born since House of M years into the future, Professor Xavier has been shot and killed, and X-Men have disbanded. The future begins here.

This issue starts the “Divided We Stand” arc which will run through all the X-books until it culminates in Uncanny X-Men #500, which will be a double-sized anniversary issue. If you have been following Messiah CompleX, one of the best X-Crossovers in years, then you’ll need to pick this one up to see where the story goes from here. And new fans should jump on because the events of these issues will shape the X-Men for years to come.

Ed Brubaker (W), Michael Choi (A), Marvel Comics, $2.99.   Ongoing Series.

Halloween: Nightdance #1 :

It has been a popular trend in comics to give the icons of movie horror their own special comic adaptations. Chucky received a miniseries from Devil’s Due, Ash from the Evil Dead movies has garnered books from Dark Horse and Dynamite, and Freddy, Jason and Leatherface have made a home at Wildstorm. Now, the company that brought you the aforementioned Chucky hits the scene in a comic based on the Halloween franchise.

Fresh off the successful re-imagining of the franchise at the hands of Rob Zombie, Devil’s Due gives the Shatner-mask wearing killer Michael Myers a chance at comic book success.  He is back and hunting the streets of a small Illinois town. What brings him here and what does a woman named Lisa have to do with it all?

Stefan Hutchinson (W), Tim Seeley (A), Devil’s Due Publications, $3.50. Four-Issue Miniseries.

Abe Sapien: The Drowning #1:

It happens all the time. If Wally Pipp never went into a slump, Lou Gehrig might never have been the legend he is today. If George Lucas didn’t ask Harrison Ford to help out at auditions for Star Wars by being a reading parner for potential actors, he would have never received the role that started his 30+ year movie career—Han Solo. Everyday someone comes out from being a bit player and becomes a star in their own right.

This week, a popular member of Hellboy’s supporting cast gets his time in the spotlight. Abe Sapien finally headlines a series of his own. In an adventure set in the past, everybody’s favorite amphibian is charged with bringing back the remains of a powerful warlock. Unfortunately, there are some powerful magical forces protecting the body. Could the warlock not be as dead as they thought?

Mike Mignola (W), Jason Shawn Alexander (A), Dark Horse Comics, $2.99. Five-Issue Miniseries.

Clandestine #1:

The word “legend” is bandied about a lot when referring to comic book creators, but in the case of Alan Davis, I believe it applies. His work with Alan Moore on Miracleman/Marvelman alone qualifies him for legendary status. Add to that his work on Detective Comics, Excalibur, and JLA: The Nail and his legend just grows. Now, he is bringing one of his most unique creations back.

The members of the near-immortal Destine family hold great, super-human powers. But they kept these powers a secret for centuries, hoping to blend in with the rest of humanity. That is until Rory and Pandora Destine came about. They believe the powers unique to their family meant that they were actually mutants. They set out to become superheroes. But their adventures put their entire family in danger. Now is the time to deal with the consequences.

Alan Davis (W/A), Marvel Comics, $2.99.  Five-Issue Miniseries.

Midnighter #16:

There are few words that can cause excitement—and worry—in the comic fan’s heart more than “New Art Team”. Besides the uncertain nature that anything new brings, a new artist can either raise a comic to new levels or practically destroy it. It all depends on how well the new guy fits with the series as a whole.

Well, a new artist joins Midnighter this week, and his name is Lee Garbett. Garbett cut his teeth ably on the action packed Highwaymen series, so he should be a good fit for the rough and tumble world of Midnighter. And, to help him out, he will be inked by comics veteran Rick Burchett. So, Midnighter fans should rest easy, your character is in good hands.

Keith Giffen (W), Lee Garbett (A), Wildstorm/DC Comics, $2.99. Ongoing Series.

Marvel Illustrated: Moby Dick #1:

The Marvel Illustrated line is like a blast from the past. Its adaptations of classic novels harkens back to the legendary Classics Illustrated line which ran from 1941 to 1969. And the line has almost exclusively been written by one of the founding fathers of modern comics, Roy Thomas.

Roy Thomas has had a long and storied career in comics. He started at Marvel in 1965 and soon rose to become the second Editor-in–chief of the company, following Stan Lee himself. As a writer, Thomas had memorable tenures on The Avengers, Conan the Barbarian, and, one of my favorites, All-Star Squadron. He was also an instrumental name in comic fandom with his Alter Ego fanzine.

I am glad Marvel has decided to expose a new generation of fans to this historic concept and creator.

Roy Thomas (W), Pascal Alixe (A), Marvel Comics, $2.99.  Six-Issue Miniseries.

###

William Gatevackes is a professional writer living in Mamaroneck, NY with his wife Jennifer. He also writes periodic comic reviews for PopMatters, is a weekly contributor to Film Buff Online and writes title descriptions for Human Computing’s Comicbase collection management software. Links to his writing can be found at his website, www.williamgatevackes.com.

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