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Terror Inc. #5

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
By: Michael Deeley

David Lapham
Patrick Zircher
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Terror Inc. #5 arrives in stores tomorrow, February 20.

If you're going to buy this issue, you either bought the other four issues or thinking of buying the whole series. The former will buy this no matter what I say. The latter may want to reconsider.

The star of Terror Inc. is an undead ghoul who survives by absorbing the pieces of the living and newly dead. He makes a living carrying out high-priced assassinations and other jobs requiring his "skills." Terror was recently tricked into killing an intelligence agent by a terrorist death cult. The cult's leader is Terror's old lover, Talita. Terror buried Talita 800 years ago but kept her alive through half-remembered magics. The centuries have driven her mad. Now she seeks revenge and suicide on a mass scale. All she needs is her left arm, taken by Terror and preserved in armor. This issue sees the final confrontation between Terror and Talita, as her drugged-out suicide bombers expand their campaign beyond Los Angeles.

Kick Ass is being promoted as the most violent comic book ever made. I doubt that. It's going to be hard to top this series. Every issue has dismemberment, decapitation, and enough gore to disturb George Romero. And this issue has Terror and Talita literally hacking each other to pieces. Then the pieces fight each other. Terror Inc. has been a never-ending series of blood, horror, violence, cruelty and even loneliness. Reading this has been like watching a Rob Zombie horror film: lots of violence and no humanity.

Frankly, I'm disappointed in David Lapham. Is this the same man who brought us the acclaimed and poignant Stray Bullets? Who wrote the excellent Daredevil vs. Punisher in 2005? Or is it the other David Lapham, the one who wrote the ridiculous story in Darkness Vol. 6? Seriously, this is the kind of comic you write without trying very hard. No character development, a very thin plot, and vague history.

So why the high score? Because there's a part of me that still likes horror films. I like watching monsters tear into people in new and interesting ways. I like the crappy late-night horror movie showcases, the experiments on Mystery Science Theater 3000, all the Halloween movies (even the one without Mike Myers), and those gory Hammer Horror flicks. They're like junk food for your brain. Terror Inc. is a heartless monster, a talking zombie. All he does is kill people and violate corpses. So if that's all you want out of a comic, then pick this up on the cheap. Terror Inc. promises only horrible violence and that's all it delivers.



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