Ginger Nuts of Horror
BY AMBER FALLON
Review: UNDER: SCOURGE OF THE SEWERS #1
On the surface, Under: Scourge of the Sewers is just another pulp comic. What you see on the cover is definitely what you get inside: giant sewer monsters, gooey cadavers, a pretty female scientist, and lots of blood and guts.
As a big fan of the pulp genre myself, I was not disappointed. Many of the classic pulp tropes are here. We have the troubled cop, fallen from grace and seeking redemption. We have the beautiful, naïve woman in over her head and in need of protection. We have the giant monsters, hungry for flesh and lurking just beneath the city. We have the dirty politician with his grubby mits deep in underhanded dealings. We have the token victims: criminals and vagrants hiding out in the sewers. We’ve also got military involvement, cannon fodder (red shirts), flame throwers, sarcasm, one liners, autopsies, and sex. If you’re a fan of the genre, Under breaks no real new ground here. While it’s not boring, per se, it’s also not unique or surprising at all.
One criticism I have is that the pacing is very disjointed. The story jumps back and forth a lot, from scene to scene you’re looking at different characters in different settings. I understand the need to keep things fresh and to show multiple things going on at the same time, but it’s both jarring and sometimes confusing. More than once I found myself rereading the same page trying to make sense of what was going on… there are a few similar looking characters (understandable) doing completely different things one page to the next. I think keeping the scenes consistent for a few pages each time would definitely have added to the readability (and enjoyability) of the story as a whole.
In conclusion, I enjoyed Under: Scourge of the Sewers. It’s fun, cheesy pulp told in an entertaining way, with decent art and writing. If you’re looking for literary brilliance or high art, this is probably not your cup of tea, but if you want a pulpy monster story that doesn’t skimp on the gore, this is a sure bet! I give it 3.5 stars out of 5 and I will definitely be picking up the next issue!