"Stitched #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Avatar Press
Written by Garth Ennis
Illustrated by Mike Wolfer
2011, 32 Pages
Comic released on October 26th, 2011
The short film Stitched was just the beginning of the story from comic legend Garth Ennis. Avatar Press has continued it in an ongoing comic series of the same name. The first arc is being penned by Ennis with Mike Wolfer on art. Stitched tells the tale of a trio of US soldiers who find themselves stranded in the deserts of Afghanistan after their helicopter crashes. While in search of safety, they stumble upon a brutal massacre of Afghani soldiers and then something far worse as strange beings covered in dirty shrouds start marching towards them. Bullets don't stop them. They're the Stitched.
This first issue is largely a re-telling of the short film. As that clocked in at less than twenty minutes, it was easy to fit it into a single issue of the comic. There are some added scenes here, such as the viewpoint from the Afghani soldiers as they're attacked by the Stitched. That's about it though. This was adapted from Ennis' original screenplay, so most of the dialogue is the same and some of the shots mimic the film. This isn't to discount the story though as it's still an interesting one.
Mike Wolfer's art is pretty solid, but there are some awkward panels that ruin the moment. For example, the scene where Corporal Twiggs pulls off the shroud of one of the Stitched to reveal a gruesome face with its mouth and eyes sewn shut had less of an effect here as it didn't look as scary as in the film. Honestly, it looked a little like a Muppet and no one is afraid of Muppets. Wolfer delivers on the gore, though, with some incredibly brutal scenes. The makeup effects budget for the short film comes nowhere near the amount of blood and human entrails that make up the pages showcasing the carnage left in the Stitched's wake. It's intense.
The big plus with this issue is that instead of ending like the short film did, the Stitched comic is continuing on. Granted it finishes in the same place where the DVD did, but there's a promise of more to come in the next issue and I can't wait. The Stitched film ended right when the story was getting interesting, so I'm looking forward to where Ennis will take us next.