Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Rover Red Charlie #1

Written By: Garth Ennis
Art By: Michael DiPascale
Publisher: Avatar Press

Synopsis:When a worldwide epidemic suddenly rids the Earth of all humans, what happens to man’s best friend? GARTH ENNIS – the master wordsmith of Preacher and Crossed – delivers a story like no other, as a band of canines set out to survive on their own for the first time. This is the story of three best friends at the end of the World. Charlie was a helper dog and he was good at getting his feeders safely around. Now he and his pals Rover and Red must escape the failing New York City and find their way in this new order. (Source)

The Good:
Garth Ennis is known for writing balls out twisted stories but this one, which is really balls out and twisted, has so much heart that I was shocked by it. I immediately fell in love with these three canine buddies as they struggle to not only survive what looks to be the end of the world but also gain some understanding of just what has made the humans go so bats hit crazy.
I also love the little touches like when a dog is barking his word bubble comes across as a repeated barrage of “I’m a dog! I’m a dog!” and that all the humans speak in totally unintelligible gobbledygook because honestly that is what we sound like to canines. I also like that the dogs aren’t completely anthropomorphized and still enjoy doing dog type stuff like sniffing each other’s butts and drinking out of the toilet.
And the beautiful job done by painter Michael DiPascale is a perfect compliment to Ennis’ twisted tale. The dogs all look like dogs (which is not something that always occurs in comic books) and not just any dogs but some of the cutest doggies you will ever see which makes it really stand out when DiPascale draws them in the same scenes as some of the graphic violence that permeates almost every page of this book.

The Bad:
It is a small complaint but having the dogs use profanity is a bit of a jarring moment that took me out of the world of the comic for a second as I read it. Cursing dogs is not necessary and comes off as a bit of an attempt at shock value.

The Ugly:
Max may have been a bit of a dick but he didn’t deserve to go out the way he did.

Final Verdict: It’s 28 DAYS LATER as told from the POV of three dog best friends…what’s not to like? Add to that delightfully twisted premise some of the most gorgeous and realistic looking art in a comic all year and you have a winning formula that I am optimistic will last throughput the entirety of this mini-series.

Rating: B+

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