Plastic #1 (Image Comics)
With Nailbiter done, we’re in need of a new serial killer comic to keep our urges in check… and Image Comics is happy to give us the thing we crave.
Check this out: a serial killer named Edwyn Stoffgruppen gives up killing for the girl he met online, a lovely little thing named Virginia. When I say thing I’m not using a euphemism: Virginia is a sex doll that Edwyn purchased from somewhere on the internet, and the doll soothes whatever it is that makes him need to kill. The two of them are driving through America, enjoying the backroads and one another, and everything seems to be as okay as they’re going to get.
Or, rather, they seem to be okay until a billionaire kidnaps (steals?) Virginia and holds her (it?) hostage in an effort to get Edwyn to kill in exchange for her (its?) safe return.
Robert Kirkman, writer of the Walking Dead, describes this comic as “The weirdest shit I’ve ever read.”
There’s something amazing in the idea of a billionaire taking the one thing that keeps a killer in check for his own personal amusement, and thinking that somehow this won’t backfire and make things worse for (a) everyone around him and (b) himself. I know billionaires suffering from affluenza tend to think the things that affect/kill the people around them won’t touch them, but Edwyn is very much a serial killer and he took away the one thing that makes him not a serial killer.
Couldn’t he just poison a water supply of an entire state in the name of profits? That works for most. Or imprison an entire group of people for bullshit reasons and funnel them into a for-profit prison? There’re politicians that will help with that. Taking the stop gap away from a serial killer, however, is probably the worst idea – no one profits from that, man, except maybe eventually anyone not in the 1%.
Worried by me bringing politics into it? Don’t be. Writer Doug Wagner is going to do that – this is the man who did Immigrant and Customs Enforcement and Average Joes over at 12 Gauge Comics, and if you haven’t read those, well, read this. You’ll understand. The weirdness is being brought to line and color by Laura Martin, who you might and should know from her work on Planetary and Daniel Hillyard, who has been with Doug from the beginning and knows his way around the printed page.
No lie, April 19th is my birthday and I’m considering this my present from Image Comics.