What we’ve got here is a tough little nut to crack, at least from my viewpoint. Behind the curtain time; sometimes it’s hard to review things that come across my proverbial desk. Some books you read, and it’s easy to say “This is good” or “This is bad.” Not so much with this one. There’s some serious subject matter going on here and a very unique art style, which brings up some good points and some bad points. I’ll get to that in a minute.
First a bit of recap: Scorn comes to us from Septagon Studios, and tells the tale of Michael, a guy who’s had a rough time of it his entire life. His mother is killed at a young age, he becomes a bit of an outcast until he meets his best friend. Unfortunately, his friend is killed in issue 1 by a wanna-be gangster by the name of Torres, which sends Michael into a spiral of violence and murder. He has given himself over to revenge and his quest continues in this issue as Michael takes a step closer to Torres while finding out some info about his almost girlfriend. There’s violence, there’s sex, and there’s murder.
Writer Kevin Moyers is not creating a story we haven’t seen before. Crime and revenge stories have been around forever and there’s not really a new angle explored here. The story is told competently, but I’d definitely prefer to see something that I haven’t seen before. The characters are interesting enough though; Michael’s reactions have the ring of truth to them, although Torres comes off as a one-note villain, and Michael’s girlfriend Sammi is your standard hooker with a heart of gold. The story is told well enough to keep the reader interested.
Then we get to the art, which is kind of the showcase of this book, but I could see opinions splitting on this. Artist Philipp Neundorf has a very interesting style, equal parts Ben Templesmith and Ashley Wood. There is a lot of interesting things going on here with perspective, color, and layout. There’s a very good fight scene towards the end that is mostly done in pencil colors with a bit of yellow and red dropped in. Most of the book is colored in sepia tones but other tones are layered in to make the visuals pop. The figure work needs some work though, as it is hit or miss on whether you can tell what the characters are feeling. He also likes to drop in extra lines, basically scratches on top of the art that don’t really serve any purpose, other than to obscure or distract from the art. There are too much Photoshop effects being layered on for my taste. Let the work stand up and it’ll be a better reading experience.
So the final verdict? Well, I can see what the creators are going for, and there is a decent story here, but it’s not really new or exciting. The art is an interesting experiment, and with a little work could be very good, but is not quite there yet. Certainly worth checking out, especially if you like crime stories or experimental art styles. I can certainly say that it doesn’t look like anything else on the stands. Give it a look.