The Exterminators #2
Quick Rating: Interesting
Title: Bug Brothers Chapter Two
It’s bad news for A.J.…
Writer: Simon Oliver
Art: Tony Moore
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Jonathan Vankin
Cover Art: Philip Bond
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
As A.J. and Henry head out on another exterminating job, a nasty find brings them to the attention of the authorities. This issue covers a lot of bases – Henry’s girlfriend, A.J.’s alternative payment plan and two interesting revelations.
Thing is, I still haven’t got the foggiest notion where this comic is going.
To a large degree, this is a mark in its favor. Oliver and Moore have cooked up a really bizarre story that I can honestly say doesn’t seem to resemble anything I’ve ever read in comics before. Henry makes for an interesting viewpoint character – he’s no angel, but while surrounded by some truly depraved individuals, he’s really mostly concerned with just getting by and making a decent life for himself and Laura. He’s the relatable core of a really bizarre comic.
On the other hand, this book is so bizarre that I’m not even really sure where to classify it. It’s got traces of horror, with the grisly discovery our exterminators make this issue. There seems to be a bit of science fiction in the works, as we get deeper into the real workings of the super-roach killing agent called Draxx. We even find a certain prized possession of A.J.’s that makes me think of nothing more than a macguffin from an Indiana Jones movie.
While I do enjoy a story that transcends genre, this story doesn’t quite do that – instead it kind of straddles multiple genres, not sure which way it wants to fall. It’s possible that it will gain enough footing to reach that transcendent state I enjoy, but we’ll likely have to wait until the end of the first story arc (at least) to make that call.
Tony Moore does some good work on this issue. I don’t know what he’s been up to since leaving The Walking Dead, but he really seems to be coming into his own with this comic. As great as his artwork was in black and white, Brian Buccellato’s colors really give them a life and vibrancy that you didn’t see before. It’s great stuff – from the comical scenes to the grisly ones, he handles them all with aplomb.
I’ve got to be frank – the idea of a comic about exterminators didn’t really appeal to me at first. (I’m a big bugophobe, I’m man enough to admit it.) But I’m curious about this series. Sold? No. But at least curious, and that’s a good enough place to start.