PVP (2003 Series) #0
Quick Rating: Great
Title: The Secret Origin of Skull
How did PVP get a giant blue intern? The answer is here!
Writer: Scott Kurtz
Art: Scott Kurtz
Cover Art: Scott Kurtz
Publisher: Image Comics
In this 50-cent special, fans get two ways to get introduced to the world of Scott Kurtz’s PVP, the workplace comedy about a bunch of geeks, one babe and a troll on their neverending quest to put out the best video game magazine they can.
Kurtz serves up two stories this issue, and as he does so often, he borrows from television sitcom convention for the first one. When Jade Fontaine and Skull the Troll get stuck in an elevator, they decide to pass the time by reminiscing about all the adventures they’ve had in the PVP offices. In other words, Kurtz serves up a “clip show,” featuring some of the funniest PVP gags from the series and online comic strip so far. Clearly how much you like this story will depend on how much you like the clips that were chosen – I, for instance, could have done without the two panels snipped from the rather weak Savage Dragon storyline. Most of the others are great, though – the origin of the Panda Attack, Skull finding out that Sonya had a crush on him and Francis Ottoman’s disastrous attempts at time-travel all elicit a chuckle, and even those strips which were originally part of a larger storyline work quite well in their excerpted form.
For long-time readers of the series, though, Kurtz dishes out a new, never-before-told six-page story for your fifty cents: The Secret Origin of Skull! As Cole Richards and Brent Sienna examine a new office space to decide if they want to rent it out for PVP magazine, they find a sweet-hearted behemoth already waiting there, and he’s actually got a mission. While I never thought Skull was a character that really needed an explanation, the story that Kurtz serves up is really funny and, in the end, surprisingly touching. What’s more, it gives this issue weight – the truth about Skull is something that not only makes perfect sense, but casts a great many of his stories so far in a totally different light. I have to wonder if Kurtz had this backstory in mind all along or if it’s something he came up with just for this special. Either way, it’s wonderful.
As much as I love the PVP comic strips, this issue makes me remember how well Kurtz handles longer stories, which he hasn’t done since the six issues of PVP he published through Dork Storm comics. I hope he takes the opportunity to do more long-form stories in the future, because it’s an area where he really shines.
If you’ve never read PVP, this is the perfect time to get on board. If you’re a long time fan, you can’t afford to miss this special.