Roachmill, the Blackthorne Year
Created by: Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeny
Edited by : Jim Stephenson
Hey gang, it’s me again, reviewing an ancient comic that nobody cares about, and by the title of this article, I’m pretty sure only John and I , in the SpoilerVerse knew existed. (savages)
Roachmill is the heartwarming tale of an exterminator in the 30th century, New York, after the Earth has signed a treaty with the universe allowing aliens to settle our land. This leads to the land being flooded with aliens (West Coast overrun), which brought about the Exterminator Act.
What is the Exterminator Act you ask. Police could not control the influx of all the alien races, and as you know, when a bunch of aliens are jammed together in slum like neighborhoods, bad things can happen, illegal enterprises pop up, and shenanigans ensue. Since the police couldn’t handle it, they came up with the Exterminator act. This allowed Exterminators (hitmen), to not only do their usual work of ridding the world of animal pests, but also to rid the world of humanoid pests.
Neighbor dog barking, hire an exterminator. Can’t afford a divorce? Hire an exterminator. Guy cut you off? Hire a exterminator. The point being, the Exterminators, in theory, took away some of the work from the police, which, of course, they don’t like.
The Blackthorne Roachmill run deals with our hero, Roachmill, who is half man, half roach, getting framed for an unauthorized extermination. One con hired him to exterminate another (who Roachmill had beef with in prison), then denied ever hiring him.
Roachmill is the only Exterminator (independent), who has a 100% success rate. The police dislike him because he’s an Exterminator, the other Exterminators don’t like him because he’s an Exterminator, and a good one that makes them look bad, and he has such a reputation, that the crooks all fear him. So, needless to say, he is a very well known, unpopular guy.
The book is very basic. It is done in black and white, with little to no gray involved. The art is excellent. The lack of color and shading make for a dark feel to the book, but also really catches the emotion of his face and body language. If you picture a young Clint Eastwood with roach arms added, plus a dope costume, you have Roachmill. In fact, much of the character feels like a futuristic Dirty Harry.
The writing is fun. Is it as deep and meaningful as some of the comics try for today? No. Is it ridiculous and follows a formula like most do today? No Is it tongue in cheek, fast paced, and blatantly rips off pop culture figures of the time and use their names? This checks out.
I like the writing, because it’s pretty fast paced, he is quite the anti hero, but despite his notoriety, instead of the masses falling in love with him (Deadpool), he has a core group of beings that like him. (Well, they respect him)
His best friend is an ex cop named Boyle, who now runs a bar. Throw in Muzzi and Woim, two wannabe Exterminators who are in Roachmill’s debt for a bad bet, they add some comic relief. You have a dirty cop in Briggs, a lot of criminals who pop in and out, and a logic to the stories that make them stretch out longer than you think possible.
I love the book for a few reasons. Being my last name is Roach, any character that is named after my stupid last name is all right in my book. To be honest, I don’t remember how I heard about this book, all I know is I have bought the full two runs twice, and had it given to me once.
I’ve always liked the writing, but much like Stephen King, they can’t end a story worth a shit. This run wasn’t bad, but the Dark Horse run ended very comically, and dealt with their cancellation.
The art is very black, very white, and also very violent. Stark would be a good word to describe it, but he also does a pretty good job of emoting thru his art. Granted, Roachmill’s face takes on the look of a Renee Zellweger scrunched face at times, but you can get how he’s feeling nonetheless.
If you want a fun read, go to the ol’ eBay and get the runs for a song. I probably spent $30 tops to get both the runs, and that is more of a crime than Roachmill killing without a contract, because it’s a really fun book.
As usual, you can @jaycanchu me on Instagram and Twitter, and find me on facebook now that you know my last name. All complaints and pictures of penis’ go to @KenricX on twitter. He knows what to do with both.
Have a great day, and be kind to a stranger.