Graphic Novel/Comics Review


Skreemer (2002) Peter Milligan, Brett Ewins & Steve Dillon, Titan Books, 14.99, trdpbk, 176pp, ISBN 1-84023-485-7

This is a collection of the 1989 6-issue mini-series; though not originally published under DC's Vertigo imprint, the book certainly falls into the "for mature readers" category. After a breakdown in society in the future the gangs take over, somewhat modelled after the gangsters of the early 20th century. Once skreemers were the assassins for these gangs, but now the name belongs to Vito Skreemer alone, most feared of the gang 'presidents'. But times are changing and the gangs must change with them; a new era is coming. But Vito doesn't want his time to end and has hatched a murderous plan to keep things the way they are. Can he be stopped before the killing starts and, if so, what part will his childhood companions play in it?

Milligan was among those revolutionising comics in the mid- to late-eighties. Though his major title, at least in terms of length, was Shade the Changing Man (which ran for 70 issues), most of his best work was in the form of mini-series like The Extremist, Egypt and The Enigma and one-shots like Skin. Skreemer seems like an unusual choice for a title to resurrect in this way, but it does display all the literacy that ensured that "for mature readers" titles were not just excuses for violence, sex and swearing. Not that there isn't much of each in this book - there is - but it is the sheer intelligence of the book that stays with you. But it's hard to make a recommendation on this title because it is not easy to categorise who this would appeal to. In its time Skreemer did win an Eagle Award (for Best Continuing US/UK title), which is itself a recommendation of sorts I suppose...

Tony Chester

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