James Robinson's "Squadron Supreme" Takes Lethal, Pre-Emptive Action
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Scurvy Dogs #2, which was published by AiT/Planet Lar and is cover dated some time in 2003 (July, maybe?). This scan is from the trade paperback, which was published in February 2005. Enjoy!
19 September is Talk Like a Pirate Day (which my lovely wife, somewhat inexplicably, absolutely loves), so I deliberately chose Scurvy Dogs, because it’s a pirate comic! Not only that, but it’s a motherfucking hilarious pirate comic. No, this first page isn’t super great, but if you want to laugh your ass off, you really, really need to get Scurvy Dogs. Ask anyone who already owns it!
Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount give us a a splash page featuring Vikings from the future, because why not (Yount is the artist, and both he and Boyd wrote the book). In the upper left corner is the Captain, the star of the book (well, all the pirates are the stars, but the Captain is the superstar). He’s telling a story, so we get his disembodied head, which tells us this is a flashback. Yount gives us a stereotypical pirate captain, with the giant hat and the braided beard. He has the nice scowl on his face, because he’s remembering the evil Vikings from the future. In the upper right, we get the set-up of the first few pages – three months ago, the pirates were set upon by Vikings from the future (the book takes place in the present day, by the way – they’re actual pirates, they just happen to exist in the present day). Directly underneath the narrative box is the word balloon in which the one Viking tells them to eat “Viking neural disruptor ray gun” and the other challenges the pirates because “the seas of the future shall only be large enough for one of us!” Obviously, Boyd and Yount are simply hoping that readers like pirates and Vikings from the future, because the page doesn’t really give us too much more to go on. It’s not the most witty dialogue, but it shows that the book is skewed a bit oddly, and its sensibility is a bit strange. Yount does a nice design with the Vikings, as he drops him some stereotypical “Viking” touches – the fur, the Thor-like hammer, the horns – and some weird “futuristic” touches. Basically, the reader has to decide if he’s willing to dive in with these characters based simply on the wackiness of the whole thing. If you had read issue #1 (“Shillings in the belly. The oldest Portuguese leper trick in the book” – which Brian featured in his Year of Cool Comic Book Moments), you’d probably trust these two dudes to make this weird idea work. Of course, the Vikings from the future are only a set-up for the pirates’ battle with monkeys, so if you don’t like the Vikings, you don’t have to deal with them for long!
It’s almost too late to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the first page you want to see here in October. But it’s still not too late! Do it today, or you’ll regret it!
Next: The DC character that wouldn’t die! Well, almost – it took a while, though! If you’re looking for more funny comics, you can always zip through the archives!
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