New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.

Comic Review:
The Filth #8
By Roshan Abraham


Vertigo (DC Comics) – Grant Morrison (w); Chris Weston and Gary Erskine (a)

**%$ The Police

Actually, the first asterisk in the issue's subtitle above should be a heart-sign, but my keyboard doesn’t do those.

First off: The Filth is intentionally offensive to those of us with fashion-sense and somewhat assaulting to the senses. One look at the clothing design of the protagonists can tell us this; garish, mawkish, mis-matched hues that are too uber-kitschy to be “ironic” or “playful.” One of the characters, Venus, sports a chia-pet afro-puff that is every bit 70’s blaxploitation porno as it is “Sesame Street Punk.” The costumes are not only garish and clumsy looking; beetle-like tanks that look like super-soakers husked on the backs of The Hand members, with goofy, edematous tubes linked to the future-pop collars, but they have a desperate, pathetic kind of sexiness to them. I know I never thought I’d see the day when Grant Morrison wrote a slightly portly protagonist with a comb-over, but here it is.

In a way, The Filth feels more like a requiem, a funeral march for the idealism of future-pop, the thrift store nihilism of punk rock sifting through the trash and co-opting the violently mismatching debris of Star Treks and science-fantasies the world over.

Article continued below advertisement

Second Off: In regards to narrative, The Filth isn’t the easiest series to get a hold on. Morrison has morphed into one of those writers more concerned with the big picture of a narrative he’s conceived than micro-managing individual issues into palatable portions. For The Filth, he’s turned to small self-contained storylines, the first few issues standing alone, and issues 5-8 containing two mini-stories. Weaving through this is the fractured, dreamlike story of the book’s main protagonist, Greg Feely/Ned Slade, the former being the persona of hapless schmuck who lives alone with his cat and the latter being a secret operative for an other-dimensional organization that “wipes the ass of the world.” See,“Greg Feely” is just a “para-persona” created for Ned Slade, a fake personality conceived by The Hand for their own purposes. The thing is, there’s no plausible distinction between a “fake” persona and a “real” persona, save the designation of such by outside powers, and the ensuing identity-politics driving Greg out of his mind is both an important theme of the main narrative and the sub-narratives contained here-in. Got it?

Issue 8 is the second part of a story about an enormous cruise vessel called The Libertana that functions as an autonomous state. The mini-social system of The Libertania mimics a real democracy, with the privileged sitting lushly on top of the vessel sipping cosmopolitans, and the minorities being shat on way down below. Spartacus Hughes, a creepy mustached 70’s sitcom dad looking motherfucker with an equally horrifying fashion sense, uses the vessel for an experiment in cultural engineering, namely, introducing a random element into a self-sustaining system to create anarchy. It’s about as overtly political as Morrison is going to get - the President (who snorts coke) is a throwaway every-man (“They haven’t trusted the president to have a mind of his own since Nixon, Ned,” Hughes says) whose interchangeability is being exploited by a manipulative cultural terrorist.

The Filth fills the void of belligerent, unhinged, over-opinionated and mad British writing left on the shelves after Transmetropolitan ended, and as such, is victim to the vices and indulgences inherent in books of their ilk. Characters seem to be created to fill the requisite “wacky-death” quotient and self-consciously “out-there” situations sometimes defer back to the obnoxious flavor of the book rather than the plot or over-all story. If you’re used to all of this, and you don’t find it distracting, the book will be easier to digest, and the experience will wash pleasantly over you like a radioactive fog melting your epidermis into tar and gene-juice on an acrid, dust-heavy Sunday morning. It’s a psychedelic kind of grunge that Weston’s art evokes- a nasty neon-drenched shit-fest for dilettante perverts and sexy loners.

This issue in particular deals with the main thematic chords of the title; the mutability of identity, immortality, invisible worlds we chose to disassociate rather than recognize as part of our natural continuum. It’s a good time to pick the book up, as the main story of Greg Feely is becoming more distinct and priming to build to a crescendo. With 5 issues left, you may be tempted to sit this book out and wait for the TPB, but you should at least be buying it for those propagandist survival-manual covers, which is consistently making this the coolest looking book on the stands, hands down.

Visit Our Hip Partner Sites:
X-Entertainment | NewGrounds | RetroCrush | BBSpot


E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend



Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.

CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent