|REVENGER No. 1, September 2014|
One of the highlights of the May 2016 “MCM London Comic Con”, Issue One of “Revenger” is undoubtedly a title worthy of its front page “suggested for mature readers” warning, with its grisly depictions of brutal beatings, gruesome gunplay and graphically explicit sex. In fact it’s hard to imagine a more disturbingly violent narrative than the one played out within this twenty-four page self-published periodical as headless torsos, bodiless entrails and sadomasochistic paraphernalia populate its panels.
However for those readers able to stomach such wanton carnage as a maimed drug dealer having his head blown away by a former British Para, mentally scarred by the mutilation and dismemberment he witnessed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Warwick Fraser-Coombe has undoubtedly crafted a narrative which is both packed full of suspenseful action and laugh-out-loud humour. It’s certainly hard not to guffaw when the mask-wearing vigilante finishes off his opponent Jason Fell with a sawn-off shotgun despite his victim’s demand to “call me an ambulance”; “You’re an ambulance.” Boom!
Fortunately the former Parachute Regiment Reserve writer proves just as adept at providing his ‘post 2008 banking collapse’ world with a strong element of gritty realism, as he does interspersing his blood-soaked storyline with moments of humour. Roger is undoubtedly not a comic book "hood and cape" character who miraculously manages to dodge bullets and shrug off punches. Indeed the writer goes to quite extraordinary lengths to demonstrate just how fragile the heavily-armed rookie actually is by having him bleed profusely upon receiving his very first blow to the head and then later ends this ‘Prologue’ on a knife’s edge courtesy of a somewhat claret-covered Revenger desperately trying to staunch his wounds within his semi-detached home, whilst the local Police Constabulary encircle the residence.
Having penned such a wonderfully absorbing tale as “Coming Home From War To A House Full Of Snakes”, Fraser-Coombe’s artwork additionally does a terrific job in depicting all the savagery of what is clearly “a very personal project”. His highly stylized, somewhat raw, drawing style is reminiscent of “Nemesis The Warlock” co-creator Kevin O’Neil and really imbues his fight scenes with some alarmingly dynamic energy.
|Artwork, Story and Lettering: Warwick Fraser-Coombe|