Saturday, August 15, 2015

All-Star Section Eight #3 Review

Written by: Garth Ennis
Art by: John McCrea and John Kalisz
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 15, 2015

Weapon of Choice

I don't know if I should admit this, but I love All-Star Section Eight.  I know it's not for everyone (including my man, Jay Yaws, at Batman-News who has washed his hands clean of it!), and I'm not really sure what my love says about me as a person.  This book is lewd, crude and upsetting almost all the way through and yet, I find myself laughing the whole time.  Maybe it's because I had no expectations about it going in, but I don't think that's quite it.  I think it's all a sense of humor thing and where you sit mentally.  I am in fact, an eight year old when it comes to what I find funny.  If you are like me and laugh anytime someone farts or says something like, "You have to do that longer and harder", then this book might be for you as well.  I am not saying I'm proud to like All-Star Section Eight, but I do want your pity.  Please don't judge me.  Now, on with the review...

This issue opens with my favorite member of Section Eight, Bueno Excellente.  Again, it speaks volumes for my character that I love this guy, but I am what I am.  After last month's cliffhanger, Eric and myself here at Weird Science have been debating who (or what) was confronting Bueno for his treatment of Guts and neither of us were right.  In fact, we weren't even close.  It's...

I will admit that I was hoping for something a little more clever, but I'll go with Sir Percival on gross-out factor alone.  Things do not look good for our resident pervert until Percival challenges Bueno to a duel to the death, but lets Bueno pick his choice of weapon.  Yea, that's not going to go well for Orifice!

Meanwhile, the rest of the team are dealing with the continuing problem of finding their eighth member and that leads to the big draw of this issue, Martian Manhunter.  He's actually sought them out and wants to straight up join the team, a fact that confuses and excites Six Pack.  The funniest part of the issue comes from the (imagined?) reaction of the DCU over the return of Six Pack and his crew and while everything in this series is taking place in the warped mind of an overweight, alcoholic loser, it makes me chuckle.

That's the gist of everything in this book.  Yes, it's parody and satire, but it also is being filtered through the craziness of Six Pack and the others, not just Garth Ennis.  So, when it comes out the other end, it is overly gross and ridiculous and in the case of this issue, a little too heavy handed.

I say that because of the way Martian Manhunter comes off this issue.  The idea of him showing up to join the team is funny enough, but his dialogue is just so out of character that it takes away from the joke.  J'onn J'onzz is the antithesis of Section Eight, yet Garth Ennis sinks him down to their level and it feels like a missed opportunity.

Missed opportunity or not, J'onn joins the team and after a pretty cool Super Friends homage, it's back to Bueno.  The battle to the death with Sir Percival is raging on (in one of the worst bathrooms this side of Trainspotting) and unfortunately, Martian Manhunter gets a peek.  I can only imagine what J'onn sees, but his reaction is one of such horror that I laughed out loud.  The issue ends with the team once again seven strong, Guts in love with her disgusting champion and this reviewer noticing the diminishing returns of this book and it's premise.

I see why this is a six issue mini series.  While I have made it clear that this is my kind of humor, it's starting to show it's limits.  The characters are one dimensional and even though I like them, the one trick pony jokes are starting to grow stale.  We are halfway through the series and I hope that Garth Ennis further explores the character of Six Pack which started this issue.  His talk with Martian Manhunter about the doubts of being a superhero was my favorite part of this issue and it didn't even include one fart joke or sexual reference.  I want more of this mixed into the last three issue.  Of course, I still want plenty of Bueno Excellente...he, he, he.

I have enjoyed John McCrea's art this entire series and this issue may be my favorite.  Again, it is dirty, gritty and downright disgusting and so it fits the script to a T.  The best parts are when he gets to expand the roster and show the larger DCU and this issue he does it in spades.

Bits and Pieces:

While this entire series is an acquired taste, I have enjoyed it from page one.  I liked this issue, but I am starting to want a little more substance with my curse words and fart jokes. While I wish that Garth Ennis would have portrayed Martian Manhunter a bit better, this issue made me laugh and the art by John McCrea was...Excellente, he, he, he.  If you have enjoyed the first two issue, you will continue doing so this month.  If this book disgusts and upsets you, nothing here will change your mind.



  1. I agree that this humor has its limits, but I still think you rated it too low! I was cracking up through the whole issue and I've no problem sticking this out to the end.

    1. oh, aren't you the critic! I still love it, I just think it's got to give us a little more substance. Plus, I'm not a huge Martian Manhunter fan so maybe that affected it a little bit.