|Posted on January 10, 2011 at 11:48 AM|
Prison Pit #2
by Johnny Ryan
Published by Fantagraphics
The balls-to-the-wall series returns with more action and mayhem like only Johnny Ryan can deliver — again starring CF, the shirtless outer space barbarian antihero who remains damned to the Prison Pit (a vast wasteland beneath the crust of a barren planet, populated by the worst of the worst, where violence is the only law and evil creatures roam free). In this second volume, CF tries to get revenge against the evil behemoth that took his arm, and then winds up playing an unwilling participant in an elaborate escape attempt from the Pit.
Review by PD Houston:
I didn't read the first book in this series so I wasn't fully prepared by what I was about to read. But I'll read anything by Johnny Ryan no matter what because his style is like no other and I enjoy the bombastic gross humor he is known for. Yet I was still quite surprised by what was in this book. I'm 36 and I while I can enjoy this book, ideally I think this book would be every 13 year old boys dream (Even though no responsible parent should let their child read this. At least in their sight anyways.).
Action action action. Balls to the wall and guts to the ground action. And sick sick drawings. That's what you will find in this book. There is no way Johnny was working from a script on this one. Marvel Comics need to let Johnny do an issue of The Hulk. Uncensored, letting Johnny do his worse. I bet it would possibly be the best Hulk comic ever. And It would probably turn out a lot like this book.
Up until page 84 I was ranking this book long behind a lot of other classics by Mr. Ryan. As glorious as the out and out depraved violence was for the first 83 pages, it wasn't until page 84 that the weirdness kicked into high gear. Protagonist CF was captured and equipped with bionic parts, particularly a metal penis, the reason for this apparatus wasn't explained yet by this point. But a few pages later while battling some strange looking beastie with wings and with one simple dialogue balloon Johnny Ryan explained what it was for and changed my view of the book. The robotic scientist which changed CF speaks to him through some mental connection...
"Now, hurry up and spread those monster legs and get fucking."
For the next 3 pages we are witness to possibly the most grossly bizarre sex scene ever in comics. I would love to show just one page from this scene, but I won't because I want you to be surprised when you buy this book. This single scene made the book for me. As gross and bizarre as it was, that's what I was expecting from Mr. Johnny Ryan. A book with all out bloody violence is good and all, but when you throw in a scene like this, it makes the book. Seriously. Page 85 is one of the most horribly gross illustrations I have ever seen. Bravo Johnny, bravo.
All in all it looks like Johnny is having fun doing this series. He gets to be as gross and sick as he wants without worrying about the gag element as in most of his previous work. Is this an evolution of Johnny Ryan we are witnessing with this series? Is he taking his unique manner of storytelling to another level with Prison Pit? Whatever, but there's obviously more to come with this series and I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.