THE EXTERMINATORS: Graphic Novel Review

I became a fan of Tony Moore’s art with his work on the much-maligned Frankencastle series, and continued to be a fan with his work on Venom.  The man knows how to bring creepy to life.  So I checked out his work on the 2006 Vertigo title, The Exterminators, written by Simon Oliver.

And I can’t understand why fanboys don’t recognize this as easily one of the top 5 Vertigo series of all time.

Granted, I’m only 5 issues deep (the others are shipping as we speak), but I can’t remember the last time I read a horror/action book that was so thoroughly developed.  There are several side/back stories going on here–the lead characters prison past and connections to white supremacists, the history of the Bug-Bee-Gone company and its quirky evil(ish) scientist, and all of the other Bug-Bee-Gone employees, each one stranger than the next.  Every character has a clear voice and distinct motivation–which is something that is hard to do in a comic book, as comics tend to have at most one or two points of view–and an equally distinct look.  Warning: It’s not for the squeamish.  While not being overly gorey, there are some definite moments (someone rips apart a rodent with his bare hands; there is some nudity and some gross nudity of an obscenely obese woman; etc.).

Perfect art, terrific writing, and a mysterious story that unfolds gradually, with more many threads and complications that you can spot–it’s hard to tell which will lead somewhere and which won’t.  It’s thoroughly unpredictable, and one of the best reads I’ve had in a long, long time.

Check it out.

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