Jonathan Ross is a British late night television host that made the transition into comics a few years back with the release of “Turf”, a supernatural gangster tale set in 1920s Prohibition-era of New York. Ross then teamed up with artist Bryan Hitch for his sprawling superhero epic “America’s Got Powers”, a tale of super-powered teens battling on television for your entertainment. Now Ross has returned to challenge reader’s expectations with a new twisted horror series entitled “Revenge” that is overflowing with graphic violence and sex.
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Ross
ART BY: Ian Churchill
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: February 26, 2014
The book centers around Griffin Franks, a washed up action star that has seen his stardom slowly fade away with age. Hollywood decides to do a modern re-make of the movie The Revenger, the classic film where Franks got his big break. He is given the opportunity to reprise his role in the re-make and quickly finds his career back on the rise. When talk of a sequel begins, Franks realizes that his age is a determent to his success when producers of the film threaten to replace him in favor of a younger actor. It’s at this time that his trophy wife suggests Franks undergo a risky surgical procedure in Mexico that will make him look decades younger, but that is where his life goes off the rails.
Franks is the perfect protagonist for this book, as his situation story mirrors the celebrity obsessed culture that currently pervades our society and becomes a “Bread and circuses” type distraction for the general public. His character is deeply flawed and there are many moments where his actions are downright deplorable to the point where the reader has a hard time feeling sympathy for him. The flaws are what make Franks intriguing enough for readers to want to stick around for future issues.
Ian Churchill art takes center stage in this book and he brings down the house with some stunning hyper detailed line work. Right out of the gate Churchill delivers a jolting nightmarish splash page of a face being ripped off that is truly repulsive. The artwork on this book is worthy of being framed as the images are so intensely detailed that readers will find themselves staring at the pages for lengthy periods of time just to soak in how outrageous it all is.
There’s something uniquely satisfying about a hard boiled revenge tale that we can all take solace in. Everyone has had an experience where they’ve been screwed over and wanted to extract revenge against those that have dared to cross us. Jonathan Ross and Ian Churchill have taken our darkest fantasies about revenge and boiled them into grotesque grindhouse comic that truly gets under your skin. Every page of “Revenge” was tailor made for horror fanatics who can rejoice in blood, sex, violence and crazy plot twists.