Storyline: B

Artwork: A

Revenge #1 is exactly as its cover says…for mature readers only. We delve into the seedy world of the movie business, more specifically the B-grade movie business.

Griffin Franks is The Revenger, an action anti-hero that kills perpatrators, Punisher style! The Revenger movies have spanned over decades, making Griffin a sort of action icon. One that they believe is better than Stallone and Arnold! With each movie, The Revenger has made success and Griffin has not turned down the opportunity to reprise the role, even at the age of 72. Even though his latest film is deemed to be a sure fire hit, Griffin feels insecure about his age. In the follow up to the success of his latest film, he is contacted about a follow up film. All seems good until they offer him a smaller role in the title he made famous. Griffin believes he is The Revenger and nobody else has the right to take his role, not over his dead body. This is when his ex-pornstar girlfriend suggests a new form of cosmetic surgery, one that will peel back the years.

Griffin has done it all in order to stay forever young, lipo, human growth hormone, facelifts you name it. There is nothing that Griffin would not do in order to stay young in order to be The Revenger. His girlfriend, who proves on multiples occasions that she was in the porn industry, tells him of a European doctor that can transplant skin, suggesting that Griffin goes “Face-Off” in order to look 20 years younger. This is where Griffin’s life is about to change for the worst as he takes the trip down south.

Churchill gives us some chilling images that will leave your stomach in knots. The drawings look realistic, as if Churchill took an anatomy class in order to draw realistic skulls, sinew and skinned flesh. The panel layout also incorporates elements that keep the feel of hyper violence running from page to page. Blood splatters and splashes are used throughout the comic especially as the story shifts from past to present and vice-versa. There are situations that you would think facial detail and expression would be impossible or unrecognisable, but Churchill and colourist Arif Prianto work together in order to bring a nightmare to life.

This comic aims to do one thing and that is unsettling readers. The level of violence is revved up, thanks to scenes from The Revenger and operating scenes. You have it all from decapitation to skinning people alive. Whether it is fantasy or reality, it all feels the same… stomach wrenching. This comic felt a bit like an HBO or Starz series. It is filled with violence, breasts and fan service in the form of explicit sex scenes. I reiterate that this book is strictly for mature readers. Parents that buy this book for a young reader will have a lot of explaining to do. While it may be predictable, cliché and too much to handle, as you progress through the book you will realise that this seedy, sadistic story is still enjoyable and will leave you wanting more.

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