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Stitched #1 – Review

After watching Garth Ennis’s directorial debut for Stitched, I found myself thinking “This was a terrible waste of 15 minutes of my life.”  It may have been a short film, but it felt much longer. The premise was boring, the characters were one-dimensional, and the action and gore were both very lackluster. When the comic was finally released, I decided to jump in with an open mind and give Ennis a second shot, despite my reaction to the film. Wow, what a mistake that was. Although Ennis managed to add a little more gore into his story this time around, he couldn’t manage to make the tale any more captivating, and I found myself thinking the exact same thing that I thought after watching the short film: What a waste.
The premise of the story is simply this: Three U.S. soldiers have survived a copter crash on a rescue mission, and are now attempting to get back to safety before the unfriendly Taliban find them. Other things go on, and I wish I could say what exactly they were, but I can’t. Here’s a quick attempt in a nutshell.  From the first glance, it appears as though some type of paper mache zombies have crash landed in the middle of the war in Afghanistan and have decided to go berserk on both affiliated parties. Oh – and I almost forgot to mention – the arts-and-crafts zombies are guided by a mysterious hooded figure who manages to die before any actual plot can be revealed, and who controls the creatures by swinging what appears to be a tin can wrapped in duct tape. Other than that, I received no information from this issue.  Even though I can’t say I approved of this comic, there is a redeeming factor that may keep some of the fans coming back for more, and that is the artwork.

Mike Wolfer is responsible for the artwork in Stitched, and while it wasn’t anything spectacular throughout the issue, it really caught my eye when it came to the gore. This is where Stitched, despite all of its flaws, truly shined. From guns being smashed through people’s throats and intestines being pulled out of their mouths, the gore was drawn to perfection. Although there wasn’t nearly enough in this issue, this is definitely what made the read worthwhile, and it may be the deciding factor on whether or not I continue reading this series.

To be blunt, I have no idea what was going through Garth’s head when he wrote this. If he was trying to leave an air of mystery with the last image of the issue, it did not help at all. With very flat characters, and a D-movie plot, I found it really hard to enjoy Stitched. With that said, the title still does have some potential. If Garth decides to make his story somewhat coherent, and if he can get back to his guns and bring in some more of that intense action and gore that I witnessed, I can see myself coming back to Stitched. Garth, just let Wolfer flap his gory, violent, artistic wings for the following issues and Stitched will definitely give us a run for our money, but until that happens… I simply cannot recommend this series.



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