Home > Image Comics > PVP (2003 Series) #11

PVP (2003 Series) #11

November 19, 2004

Quick Rating: Um…

It’s Skull versus Savage Dragon!

Writer: Scott Kurtz
Art: Scott Kurtz
Cover Art: Scott Kurtz & Erik Larsen
Publisher: Image Comics

PVP, to be certain, is one of my favorite titles every month, but this issue left me kind of creeped out. There’s still a lot of stuff that works, but the stuff that doesn’t work takes what could have been a great, fun issue and derails it.

As you already know by now, unless your graphic card is broken and you can’t see the cover, this issue contains a much-vaunted crossover. In an effort to study the effect of video game violence on an innocent mind, Brent Sienna accidentally turns the gentle giant Skull into a rampaging beast, and the only one who can stop him is the Savage Dragon. Well, things go wrong and the PVP crew is left with a serious mess on their hands.

Scott Kurtz is usually very good at taking seemingly stupid situations and putting clever twists on them, and for a long time it feels like he’s going to do the same this time, but you keep reading the story, plodding along, enjoying the gags but waiting for the punchline… only there isn’t one. And that lack of a punchline not only hurts the story as a whole, but casts several of the characters in this title in a really bad, really disturbing light. I don’t read PVP to get creeped out, I read it to laugh.

The rest of the book is much better. The next storyline involves Francis’s effort to create a new roleplaying game – where the roleplayers play roleplayers playing a roleplaying game. It sounds goofy, and it is, but anyone who’s ever spent time crowded around a table playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends will find this strip hysterical.

Aaron Williams also contributes a few pages of Full Frontal Nerdity as a backup. I’m enjoying this strip more and more, and the last one in this issue is priceless.

I still love PVP, really I do, but even in a humor book the way this storyline was handled doesn’t really work. It doesn’t really fit the fun, lighthearted universe Kurtz has created. This is an attempt at dark comedy, and while I enjoy that genre, it doesn’t feel like it belongs here.

Rating: 5/10

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