Review: Scrap!!

Originally posted on Irish Comic News (11/Apr/2019)


Created and written by Kevin Smith.
Lettered by LetterSquids.
Cover drawn by Faozan Salman and coloured by Sean Callahan.

Scrap is a collection of three stories following the adventures of 10-year-old Marco after freak circumstances result in him receiving demonic superpowers. It’s a simple idea for how Marco receives his powers, and the method also allows for Marco to gain more abilities in his adventures.

With his new found superpowers Marco decides to become a superhero, much to the disbelief of the demon who gifted Marco his superpowers.

Marco The Demon Dude (art by Kame)

The first story of the collection handles the origin of ‘Marco the Demon Dude’ and first adventure as a superhero. Marco gains his powers after unexpectedly being transported to the Land of the Demons. This is where he meets the demon, Tetra. Tetra looks to escape the Land of Demons by taking up residence in Marcos mind. The consequence of the merging is that Marco gains access to Tetras demonic abilities. After they leave the Land of Demons, Tetra discovers that Marco is less interested in her plans of world domination, preferring instead to take up the role of superhero.

It’s an entertaining introduction to Marco the Demon Dude. The story establishes the main players while also putting Marco into his first battle. Dialogue is entertaining and moves the story along nicely. I did appreciate the icons on the captions to denote who is speaking on some of the panels. The art is well suited to the opening story and nicely sets the tone for the collection of adventures. Even in the busier panels of the battle sequence, it’s easy to follow what is happening in the panel/page.

The Ratchet Range (art by Megan Brophy)

The second of the three stories sees the Demon Dude in an arena battle with the Calico Assassin. There isn’t any real explanation as to the why of this battle. But that just means the battle kicks off as early as possible in this story. This story relies on captions (again with helpful icons for each character) and the artwork to get most of the storytelling done.

I enjoyed much of how the art handles the fighting. There’s some good choice of panels that gives the battle the energy it requires. I would have liked the line art to be darker than what it is in the story. It’s particularly noticeable when you have lettering in a panel. The letters are rich blacks while the line art almost looks like pencils rather than inked art. The artist has done the hard work with actually composing and drawing the pages. It definitely does the art a disservice on my laptop.

Putting to one side my grumble with the line art, the story and art kept me reading. I liked that it showed the Demon Dude may have superpowers, but that he is ultimately a young hero that still has much to learn.

Slain (art by Jigme Tenzin Wangchuk)

In the final story of the collection, the Demon Dude finds himself as part of a mercenary team tasked with taking down an experiment gone wild in a remote science lab. Much like the previous stories, the premise of the story is established quickly and quickly gets to the meat of the story. Which, if you’ve been paying attention, is a battle of course!

Slain deviates slightly for the other stories as it gives much of the focus to the boy with the blade. The unnamed boy seems to adopt the role of trainee/novice that Demon Dude had previously held.
The has some great panels that puts the reader right in the middle of the action. The choice to have Demon Dude as part of a team in this battle was a nice change of pace too. When the boy and Demon Dude hit their stride against the escaped experiment, the art really dials of the energy for an impressive finale to the story (and the collection itself).

Overall, I enjoyed the collection of stories. It’s a good introduction to Demon Dude with potential for future stories to branch out in a variety based on the three stories I’ve read. There’s a nice mix of art styles in there too. It’s a good start for the creative team and hopefully we’ll see the return of Marco the Demon Dude in the not-too-distant future.

Scrap!! is available in Comic Vault (Cork) and Big Bang Comics (Dundrum).

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