Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scud: The Disposable Assassin

The final four issues of Scud came out this year after a 10 year hiatus. That's a long time to wait for the end of a story. Fortunately it was a very satisfying ending, managing to wrap up a number of loose ends that barely seemed connected at first. Who knows what the story would have been had Schrab never decided to shelve Scud for so long, but I don't know if it could have been much better. Now the entire collection has come out in one volume.

Scud: The Disposable Assassin was just about the most badass thing I'd ever read when I picked up my first issue back in the mid-90's. The story takes place in a future so wild and lawless that robot assassins, or Scuds, can be purchased from vending machines (called "venting machines") for pocket change. The main character is one of these assassins.

During a violent battle with his target, Scud discovers a warning label on his back that says he'll self-destruct upon elimination of his target. Not wanting to die, Scud critically wounds the target, puts her in the hospital, and begins freelancing to pay the bills.

The adventure that follows takes Scud around the planet, into outer space, through multiple dimensions, to the center of Earth, and to Heaven itself. Yeah, it's epic. It's also hilarious.

Along the way Scud makes friends with a stuff-collector named Drywall, who has miles of storage space inside his body from which he can pull objects at will (though what exactly he pulls out isn't always predictable). He makes an arch nemesis in Voodoo Ben Franklin (apparently the original Ben Franklin, just more evil). And he falls in love with a mysterious robotophile named Sussudio.

If you like stories about zombie dinosaurs, werewolf astronauts, android mafias, things getting all explodey, robot-on-human love, endless amounts of senseless bloodletting and dismemberment, and cowboys, then Scud might be something you should check out.

Note about author Rob Schrab: during his time away from comics Schrab started a career as a writer and director of film and television. Some of his projects include co-creating Channel 101 with creative partner Dan Harmon, and producing the cult-hit television pilot Heat Vision And Jack, starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson. He currently works on The Sarah Silverman Program, among other things.


Sarah said...

Sussudio? Isn't that a phil Collins song? Otherwise, you had me at Zombie dinosoars, so where does one find this story? Is there a complete compilation, or will there be? Can I do an entire comment with only questions?

Scott said...

The full collection is available (as I said at the end of paragraph one, come on!). It's called "The Whole Shebang". Find it at comic book stores or on sites like Amazon.

Sarah said...

I don't know how you expect me to remember mundane things like paragraph one when I'm concentrating on images of explodey-ness and Voodoo Ben Franklin.