"Centipede #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Max Bemis
Illustrated by Eoin Marron
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 9th, 2017
Dale is all alone. Well, that's not entirely true. He does have a giant flying centipede as a companion, but I don't think that counts as it's trying to eat him. The world has been destroyed since the centipede has basically eaten everything and everyone else. With nothing left to lose, Dale decides to kill this monster once and for all. He's loaded up on weapons big and small and takes the fight to this seemingly indestructible creature.
I can't remember playing Centipede as a kid,. I think it was a little before my time. It's impressive that writer Max Bemis and artist Eoin Marron have been able to create such a wide backstory based on an old Atari game that featured a handful of moving pixels. The debut issue outlined the post-apocalyptic world that Dale lives in and how the centipede was responsible. This time around we get into more of what makes this man tick.
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It's clear from the jump that Dale is crazy. Being the last man alive can do that to a person. He's talking to himself, or really to us. Normally this would come off as weird or at the very least, annoying. That is not the case here. Dale is a fun narrator. Instead of an internal dialogue, he's saying everything out loud. It's not like anyone will hear him and get mad at him, right?
We get a great connection to Dale with a flashback where he shares a story of his best friend. He's truly heartbroken over this loss and realizes that he'll never feel this way again. That's a real punch in the gut. It's one thing to live without Lucky Charms or new episodes of Game of Thrones. It's quite another to live knowing that you'll never feel love for another person ever again. Doesn't that just rip your heart out?
The flashback scenes are shown in a cool purple and blue glow. This gives them a warm, comforting tone. It culminates in a beautiful full-page spread that showcases various shared moments between Dale and his best friend as the two create an all-new one in the center.
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Of course, this book would be nothing without a terrifying giant centipede and I'm happy to say Marron delivers that in spades. On the surface, it looks like a really big version of the bug. That is creepy enough as it is with its dozens of legs and rows of teeth. Add to it the fact that it flies – or rather floats – and its massive size, and you've got a monster capable of going toe-to-toe with Godzilla.
The centipede's appearance is a nice juxtaposition to Dale's narration. He's basically yelling at the creature and pointing out how dumb it is, despite its large size and destruction capability. This adds some levity to the otherwise dreary dystopian landscape.
Centipede is an impressive expansion to the classic video game. Most folks probably didn't think twice about what the story behind the game could have been while they were popping quarters into the arcade machine. Here we've got a gripping tale of the last man on earth and his epic struggle against the giant flying centipede that tortures his mind, body, and soul.