Indie Comics Review: The Scumbag #8

by Carl Bryan
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Review: The Scumbag #8


[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist:  Alex Riegel

Letters:  Rus Wooton

Colors: Moreno Dinisio

Reviewed by: Carl Bryan


“Hod’d ya think Batman stays up all night?”. – Ernie Ray sniffing cocaine

The Scumbag #8 – Ernie Ray Clementine is a profane, illiterate, drug-addicted biker with a fifth-grade education who accidentally received a power-imbuing serum that made him the world’s most powerful super-spy. He is a relic of a bygone era, the living embodiment of sex, drugs, and rock and roll—which doesn’t make things easy for the spy organization that needs his help.

After being bribed and cajoled, and becoming a double agent, Ernie did the right thing and stopped Scorpionus’ evil plan to turn the world’s poor into fuel. Now, having rested on his itchy laurels, Ernie’s eager to put a stop to the bohemian terrorist group Moonflower (a groovy chick named Petal might factor in). But when Team Scumbag flies to their lunar base, Ernie finds himself separated from the group and meets Moonflower’s leader, Madam Hive.

Our villains need Ernie’s powers to help charge a ray that’ll turn everyone on Earth into like-minded hippies. Blinded by his lust for Moonflower sympathizer Petal, Ernie is tempted to help.

Meanwhile, Sister Mary makes her way onto the compound in search of Agent Scumbag while Pam and Brother Wolf tend to their damaged space Trans-Am. Will Sister Mary manage to get Ernie back on the mission, or will he give into his own hedonistic urges?


Before we take any step further, perhaps you should read the First Issue online so you know exactly what you are getting into with Ernie Ray.

Alex Riegel takes over the artistic reins for Scumbag in this issue.  We are back at some very solid renderings and intricate pencils and colors.  No shortcuts are taken in each frame as they both accentuate action, color, and real clean comic story telling.

Expect to see a lot of action and a lot of nudity in this issue (circa 1970s free love…so it is pretty graphic).

Subject matter aside, this comic has featured a lot of great artists.  Issue #1 (which can be read online if you are over 18), provided where this comic can be from an artistic standpoint along the lines of the 1980s Conan the Barbarian series,  however, Riegel carries the baton well on his turn at the ink.

The scripts of Rick Remender …he knows what buttons to push in terms of politics, world climate, and everything that Ernie Ray either celebrates or despises.  Some of the funny quips provided in this issue do reflect political views that are across the board….America is truly a melting pot of ideas.  And Ernie Ray has blatant opinions on them.

Remender turns Ernie Ray and Sister Mary into almost sympathetic characters.  He lures us in with some back stories on abuse and a lifetime of training to be a government agent.  We see the influence of group think and Ernie has some very independent views about subscribing to just one way of thinking…no matter if the perception that this “one way” is the “right way”

I love the Remender allowed the reader to get their guard down a bit as the confrontation at the end yields the biggest setup for continuing the Scumbag ever!  Think one Scumbag is too much to handle…what about an entire planet of Ernie Ray’s views and addictions.  Whew!





You get what you get with Ernie Ray.  If you are picking this issue up, then make sure you get the preceding issues.  When you drink from Ernie Ray’s story, it is because you have a taste for it.  Toilets, drugs, orgies and somewhere along the line, there is saving the world.  However, the man is triple crossing at this point, so bring a road map to navigate what he utters.  it’s all lies…or is it?  He’s a lone wolf in the midst of a mess!


If you are into something really really different and you like uncomfortable clashes, this is your book.  You’ll laugh and wince and roll your eyes. Get in on the ground floor of Scumbag!  A Ernie Ray says ” You people don’t know how to party.  You hate me because I do!”   If you want to catch up, be on the lookout for the trade paperback Cocaine Finger.  That tells you all you need to know right there!


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