The Scumbag, Rick Remender's new series from Image Comics, is a gross-out superhero (kinda) satirical comic that imbues a nasty, soiled-pantsed drug addict with the power to save the world. While Remender writes the whole thing, each issue is set to feature a different artist. The Scumbag #2 is drawn by Andrew Robinson, colored by Moreno Dinisio, and lettered by Rus Wooton. Grab your barf bags because we're going in.
The Scumbag #1 was exactly what it set out to be: a shockingly gross book about the lowest of lowlives somehow becoming essential to humanity's survival. Even if the book may be too gross for some, it set out every goal that it tried to achieve. The same is not true for The Scumbag #2.
This issue of The Scumbag sees two unfortunate things happen very quickly.
First, as it had to at some point, the bit gets old. In the last issue, it was at least interesting to see the lows that Ernie could go. Then, as he received his powers in perhaps the nastiest way imaginable, it was again intriguing to watch a darkly humorous send-up of the superhero origin story. However, this time, Ernie isn't interesting. He's not funny. He's not even sad. His interactions are lifeless, his motivations meandering, his character as grating on the page as he would be in real life.
Then, the villains are introduced, and The Scumbag goes from feeling like a comic book satire about something new to a satire that has been done countless times. The villains are modern-day Nazis that speak like an Onion article about the abusive trolls found in YouTube comment sections in 2017. Like with Ernie, there is no new insight here. No new jokes. No new points were made. Instead, it's the most basic of satire played out again in the middle of a book with a concept that was already wearing thin an issue and a half in.
While artist Andrew Robinson and colorist Moreno Dinisio do a good job filling in the huge shoes of Lewis LaRosa, they're not given much to work with. While The Scumbag #1's major first impression was that it was unbelievably gross, it was also fairly original. Unfortunately, this second issue is anything but.