Review: SOUL PLUMBER #1 – Back-Alley Exorcism

From writers Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski and artist John McCrea, along with colors from Mike Spicer and letters from Becca Carey, comes a crude and wacky piece of religious parody. soul plumber #1. Equal parts Beavis & Butthead and Preacher, this filthy opening chapter is both insanely stupid and far more witty than it has right to be.

“After attending a seminar in a hotel conference room by a mysterious group called the Soul Plumbers, Edgar Wiggins, a disgraced former seminary school student, discovers what he believes is the secret to freeing souls from the bondage of Satan. But after stealing the blueprints and building the machine himself, from what he can afford from his salary as a gas station attendant, Edgar misses the demon and instead summons an interdimensional alien with dire consequences for all of humanity.

Writing & plot

Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski Bring in the Sense of a Garth Ennis and Mike Judge Collaboration soul plumber #1. The irreverent humor of a wannabe priest, a frenzied combat veteran and a spazzy druggist on a quest to fight demons is already akin to something from an early Vertigo or underground comic. Plumber manages to be equally stupid and deceptively intelligent. Some of the trappings of his religious critique are old-fashioned, but they are hidden beneath how insane the characters are.

Stupid as Edgar is, his sincere desire to help and not judge his wicked friends is truly endearing. He’s the kind of protagonist you want to advocate for, despite how stupid he actually is. Think of Preacher’s Arseface but as a seminary dropout and you have a good idea. The dialogue is snappy, random and laced with profanity. In other words, it’s perfect for this story. Each character has a different way of speaking, which makes it easy to pin down their personalities right away. Edgar’s naive writings quote clash with Elk’s friendly barrage of curses, and even more so with Scuzz’s nonsensical, drug-fueled wanderings. Will this be a reading experience for everyone? Absolutely not. However, for the right twisted readers, this will be a blast.

Art direction

I honestly couldn’t think of a better artist than John McCrea from hitman fame to draw the dirty world from soul plumber #1. McCrea’s unique brand of messy yet expressive visuals bring these characters to life in spot-on sleazy glory. Each person is designed with their own instantly recognizable design that works perfectly under McCrea’s guiding hand. The cast’s scuzzy appearance blends them into this gross world, but is offset by their distinctive expressions. This is especially true of Edgar, whose sympathetic gaze manages to elevate him above his desolate surroundings – but barely.

Mike Spicer comes through with the colors and so a lot of plumber atmosphere and personality. There’s a distinctly grungy indie comic feel that Spicer’s work brings to the panels that’s perfect for this issue. Everything is covered in a greasy green and brown tinted palette. This kind of smooth look, the kind where it seems like everyone should be covered in cystic acne, is disgustingly perfect. Becca Carey’s letters manage to match the knotty look of the art. Her rough and sketchy fonts match the art direction of the comic perfectly, while also varying in size and focus to match the tone of the dialogue. Every nasty visual aspect of this opening track offers the perfect amount of scuzzy detail.

verdict

soul plumber #1 is a dirty, hilarious and deceptively clever opening to this blasphemous miniseries. The script by Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski is complete with a colorful cast and irreverent humor that is sure to hit the right audience. The art of John McCrea and Mike Spicer is detailed and perfectly scummy, creating just the right atmosphere. Make sure to grab this new #1 when it hits shelves on 10/5!

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