Review: Doll and Creature

Published on April 26th, 2011

Rick Remender has been doing some awesome stuff recently; Uncanny X-Force, and Punisher: In the Blood just to name a couple. Remender also has a fairly long history in horror and horror related books, one of which I’ve decided to feature on this week’s edition of Trade Tuesday. Doll and Creature was a book written by him with art by John Heebink that was published by Image Comics in 2005. It may not be the greatest thing that Remender has done, but it’s certainly one of the more interesting projects he’s released.

dandcvol1This book takes place in a world where the entire society is obsessed with the Gothic and monster culture. When Doll, a young woman dressed as a mummy, who has been ostracized for most of her life because she’s got some curves, goes out on the town with her sister who looks like she could use a cheeseburger and a trip to rehab, they get caught in a big mess. The biggest problem facing this society is the rampant use of a drug called “Gray Matter.” Gray Matter is more addictive than heroine and prolonged use turns the user into a “Hyde,” a monstrous zombie like creature that craves human flesh.

When Doll and her sister are attacked by one of the Hydes, they are rescued by Gristle. Gristle’s origin is a little complicated. Imagine the Frankenstein monster dressed as a 50’s greaser with a robot arm. Gristle was created by a man, Victor, who decided that people on Gray Matter needed to be put down, so he used his money to get a scientist named Pyrus to create the creature for him. Eventually, Pyrus double crosses Victor and kills him. He would have killed Gristle too, but luckily another creature created by Pyrus, named Modo, considers Gristle to be his brother and rescues him. In the process, Modo is burned half to death and has to spend the rest of his life in a suit to keep him alive. Modo and Gristle decide to honor their “father” and follow his mission to rid the world of Hydes.

In the fight with the Hydes, Doll was attacked and her eyes were scratched up leaving her blind. Gristle decides to use a pair of special goggles created by his father that are used for finding people on Gray Matter as replacement eyes for her. After the surgery, Doll decides to join Gristle and Modo on their mission to go after the people putting Gray Matter on the streets. Those people being Pyrus (who’s been using Gray Matter for years, but has created a serum to keep the stuff from destroying his mind) and a guy who has a Ronald Regan mask permanently attached to his face.

This has to be one of the weirdest trades I have ever read, and of course, it could only come from the mind of Rick Remender. While reading this, I kind of thought it was the precursor to the Franken-Castle book he did a while ago, just more fun. It’s a really entertaining book that’s full of social commentary and political satire. I loved the guy in the Ronald Regan mask, but if you’re a fan of the real Regan, you may not like this book. Heebink’s art is really nice to look at as well. The action scenes are awesome and there’s a lot of little details in the background that you might not catch the first time reading it. If you’re looking for a fun book to spend an afternoon reading, this is it. It mixes pretty much all the comic genres into one Hell of an awesome book. So, head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself!

Ken Zeider