Paul Tobin clearly had a lot of curse words pent up in his head. The YA novelist and comic book writer, best known for teenage burglar capers in the comic series Bandette, or a variety of all-ages graphic amusements like How To Outsmart a Billion Robot Bees, goes for an unfettered R-rating in Made Men, his new comic with Arjuna Susini and Gonzalo Duarte from Oni Press. Virtually every page is splattered with blood and gore, and there are more eff-bombs in this first issue than in an entire volume of Preacher. The matter-of-fact “It’s raining blood and meat” is an early first-person narrative caption. So, yeah. A bit different from I Was the Cat.
The story follows police officer Jutte Shelley who, after her team is ambushed in glorious fashion by a well-armed band of criminals, reveals her true heritage. She’s the descendant of the great Dr. Frankenstein (“Shelley” clearly being a nod to the original goth romance’s author), and death, for her, isn’t a permanent condition. Now she’s pulled together a grotesque posse of living-dead vigilantes to get revenge on the villains.
Susini’s art in this book is wonderful. There’s a fluidity that’s reminiscent of Paul Pope, and the way the inks pour into shadow into blood and into visceral action is a perfect tone-setter for this grim comedy.