People who review comic books, novels, movies, TV shows, or any art form with the sole purpose of hurling insults is a douche.
It’s stupid, juvenile, and more than anything it’s a complete waste of time. Why spend hours complaining about something you claim to have no interest in?
Also pointless: writing a spoiler-filled recap of a comic book as if you’re about to hand in a 3rd grade book report. I assume that if you’re reading these words and have even a basic understanding of the English language, you can pick up a copy of Nemesis or Scarlet and read them for yourself.
This blog post is about proving one thing:
Why Scarlet is better than Nemesis.
Of course art is 100% subjective, and the title of this blog post was meant to cause controversy, but here is why, in my estimation, Scarlet is the more exciting piece of work.
I am a huge fan of the Bendis/Maleev combination. Their work on Daredevil was incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better storyteller to capture the tone of this character; it was like reading the Daredevil movie that should have happened. And Maleev’s semi photo-realistic depiction with it’s grit and atmosphere – how every character seemed draped in a perpetual shadow – brought Daredevil to life in a way that is as close to flawless as I could have imagined.
Teaming up for Scarlet, the boys bring the same tone, the same darkness, the same visceral feel.
From issue #1 you know you’re in for a wild ride…as the story progresses the main character (ironically named Scarlet!) breaks the fourth wall and talks to you, the reader. She explains her actions, her past, and ultimately what led her to (seemingly?) lose her mind and begin her disturbing journey as a vigilante.
By the end of issue #2 I was invested. Hardcore. To the point where I want to pitch a tent in front of my local comic store and wait for the next issue to arrive (yes, I’m thisclose to going ‘Episode 1’…it’s that good).
How does this differ from Nemesis? Keep your pants on, I’m getting there…
Nemesis looks beautiful. Clean lines, sharp detail, and great storyboarding. It has more of a traditional superhero comic look to it, and it fits perfectly with the story.
If you don’t know anything about Nemesis, it goes something like this: a super villain – with Batman’s arsenal of gadgets and bottomless bank account – goes as crazy as, well…the Joker. He dons a white cape and cowl, and decides to wreak havoc across the globe, setting up Saw-like scenarios for decorated police officers.
And as the lucky viewers, we get to watch.
In Scarlet, death is monumental. It carries with it heartbreak and self-reflection, and more than anything, consequences – just as in real life when we lose someone close to us, it’s often a game changer.
Not so in Nemesis.
From the opening scene, death is treated as a carnival sideshow – it registers the same emotional impact you feel as when you run over a pedestrian while playing Grand Theft Auto. It’s slightly amusing at first, but quickly becomes tedious.
YES, I GET IT – we’re supposed to fear Nemesis. We’re supposed to be witnessing the sick, twisted mind of a madman, and darn it, Millar is going to show us just how sick this guy is whether we like it or not. Over, and over.
After 3 issues we’ve been treated to decapitations, evisceration, impaling, and for the grand finale we get tales of underage rape and incest, as well as…well if you want more details you’ll have to read it for yourself.
I’m not really sure where the esteemed Mr. Millar goes from here?
For issue 4 I can only imagine Nemesis takes the hero’s wife, chains her to a tree, and forces a herd of hippos to sexually assault her like in some demented Hentai video, so he can then upload it to YouTube and send high definition copies to her grandparents.
I appreciate Mr. Millar pushing the envelope, I really do. Violence, gore, and disturbing imagery are all part of that, and woven carefully into a meaningful story where I’m invested in the characters, it carries with it great weight.
But you can’t keep raising the bar on carnage without offering additional substance for the reader.
If that’s the direction he’s going, Millar’s body of work could start heading the way of a long-running horror franchise where the viewer simply munches popcorn and chats between brutal slayings because hell, what’s all this talking and stuff? Let’s just see the chick getting her skin ripped off!
I love Mr. Millar, and I have the utmost faith in his considerable abilities. He always draws me into his worlds, and every time (whether I’m completely invested or not) I stick around to the end, because I just have to know how things turn out.
So while I do prefer Scarlet to Nemesis (I’ll continue to buy both), please don’t take my word for it! Who am I, anyway – some wacky Canadian chick who’s obsessed with Twitter?
Go and read them for yourself, come back, and leave me a message explaining why you disagree.
I love you guys! (but you already knew that, didn’t you?)
PS: Want a new BFF? Be my friend on Facebook! I’m just getting started but I’ll try to check it more often.
PPS: And of course follow me on Twitter. I WILL follow you back, I promise.
PPPS: In case you missed it, I’m periodically posting updated on ComicsOnline.com, so go read my latest entry there, where I burn every possible bridge with DC comics and accuse them of being greedy asshats.