Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Scars

How much of a monster do you have to become to hunt monsters?

Scars follows Detective John Cain and his partner when they are faced with the investigation of a horrible murder of a eleven years old girl.

This book dwells in the police thriller genre and aims at making the reader uncomfortable. Warren Ellis dwells in this genre using child abuse as the emotional driver for the protagonist.

How good is it?

Usually I'm not a great fan of police thrillers, even more so in comic book format. I picked this up on a whim and was not disappointed. The story has great pace, the art is clean and enjoyable and the overhaul package is nice.

Warren Ellis does a good job in letting the read know who's who and whats whats in the first chapter. From there on its a fast pace story, with some twist and turns that makes sure to leave the reader uncomfortable page after page. Why? Because Ellis wanted so. To be honest, the unsettling felling one gets from reading Scars adds to the whole thriller idea. This is not a story to make the reader feel good. Its ugly and show a very bad side of our society.

There are however two major problems with the book. One the mystery is given away for free half way in the book and the story shifts from finding the bad guy to getting the bad guy. Usually this isn't a problem, but something got lost in the shift because the first half of the book is much stronger than the second. Two the ending is a bit abrupt and somewhat predictable. It isn't bad or out of place, but the story deserved something stronger.

In between chapter Warren Ellis and Steven Grant write some of their thoughts about Scars and the process that they had to go throw to get the book done. Its a cool read and it add a bit more to the book. Its like seeing a movie with the director commentaries on.

Art wise the book is ok. Just like the story, its not perfect, its not the best B&W art out there, but is enjoyable and deserving of the readers time and money.

Gory corpses

And thus it starts

Would I recommend it?

Unfortunately Scars doesn't reach Ellis's usual greatness. Its not a bad book, it has its moments, but there's something missing. It does a good job making the reader uncomfortable with John Cain's journey into his own personal hell. But the mystery is given away too early in the story and all that is left afterwards is John's emotional turmoil.

Its a good story, good art, just shy of greatness, but still very enjoyable. If you're a fan of the authors or the genre you should read it.

Publisher: Avatar Press
Year: 2004
Pages: 160
Authors: Warren Ellis, Jacen Burrows

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