Cover by Marron
Cover by Francavilla

Centipede #5
Written by: Max Bemis
Art by: Eoin Marron
Cover A by Francesco Francavilla
Cover B by Eoin Marron
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment

Review by Dean Zeller

This review contains spoilers of Centipede #5, by Dynamite Entertainment.

The following is actual dialog from the weekly review assignment meeting at 2G1 Headquarters in New Jersey.  The following people are in the room:  Ryan McLelland, Mikey Wood, Dean Zeller, Roland Markowitz, and Sophia Vennick.  Ryan is smoking a cigar and wearing an eyepatch.

Ryan:  Alright, get in here, ya yahoos!  Time for your weakly assignments.

Dean:  Ha!  You mispelled ‘”weakly.”

Mikey:  Ha!  YOU misspelled “mispelled.”

Ryan:  Okay, that’s enough!  I run a tight chip around here!

Roland:  “A tight chip.”

Dean:  Looks like rebranding is in the air.

Ryan:  Settle down, everyone.  Here’s your assignments.  Roland, you get Alterna this week.  At a buck-fifty a shot, do three or four of them.

Roland:  Thanks, Ryan!  I was in the mood for some newsprint.

Ryan:  Sophia, you get Betty Page, Batman vs. Godzilla, and the All-New Teen Titans.

Sophia:  <fake smile>  Ooh!  Something different for a change!  <sarcastic scowl>

Ryan:  Mikey, hit your normal Dynamite favorites.  That’s it.

Dean:  HEY!  What about me?

Ryan:  Oh, you go long!

Dean:  What does that mean?

Ryan:  What, you want to earn your paycheck now?  The Justice League movie review didn’t put your panties in a bundle?

Dean:  No, I’m ready for a comic review.  Give me a good one.

Ryan:  Alright…  you get:  Centipede #5.

Dean:  What?!  No, I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.

Ryan:  Oh, you’ll do it.  Vee haff vays off makink you do vant vee vant!

Dean:  No, don’t use the fake Russian accent!

Ryan:  Da!  In Mother-Russia, the accent is real, but YOU are zee fake!  Do zee refiew, or Nikita vill get medieveeal on your ass!

Dean:  Okay, I’ll do it.  But I won’t enjoy it.

Ryan:  THAT’S the attitude!  Okay, get to work, everybody!

Yes, life is quite messed up.  In a world where the Centipede comic series exists, I’m now ready for anything.  To paraphrase Neal PageI could tolerate reviewing any, any of the worst comics ever!  For days, I could read over the worst drivel, with a smile on my face!  They’d ask:  “How can ya stand it?”  And I’d say, “‘Cause I’ve read Centipede the series.  I can take anything.”

This happens later…

That’s right, world!  Come at me with everything you’ve got!  Global warming?  Pshaw!  A robot apocalypse?  Easy-peasy!  A sudden death as a result of side-effects from an experimental immunosuppressant drug?  No problem!  I can handle it all, because I… have reviewed the Centipede comic series.

By choice!

Why, on why do I do these things?  Aren’t there better books out there to review?  And why are YOU reading this?  Didn’t you get the message from the last two reviews?!  The only thing that sounds like more of a waste of time than writing this review… is reading it.

Well I suspect this world works this way for a reason.  I am actually fearful that the Earth will actually stop spinning if I don’t review Centipede #5, after reviewing issue #3 and issue #4.  So, for the sake of all humanity and civilization as we know it, here’s the review.  Plus, Ryan told me to, and he signs the paychecks.

At the end of last issue, Dale (our hero) woke from a mushroom-induced dream with the secret of how he was going to kill the centipede.  Not that there was a paragraph to describe as such.  If this was your first issue, you would have no clue what is going on.  Why don’t writers spend the time to put those in?  It’s easy and quite helpful.  Even with issues #3 and #4 stinking as much as they did, I gave #5 every chance to be good.  And I will say, the first page wasn’t half-bad.  He’s happy, contemplating his potential upcoming death, and looking forward to killing the centipede.  I also like simplicity and regularity in panel layout.  For once, the artwork looked consistent, and the character portrayed complex emotions.

And then… he crashes a jet through a building.  It could be a spaceship, I don’t know.  Unless it is explained in issues 1 or 2, this is the first time it has appeared.  I’m calling it a jet.  KRASH, I say!

It has to be alien — it’s orange!

Now, it didn’t crash into a building, but it went straight through it.  This was one completely indestructible jet.  It went through a solid concrete-and-girder structure.  The artwork even shows the nose hitting a floor support directly, and not the large window.  It’s okay, because it also looks like the glass shattered before the nose hit it, and the glass is shattering outward.  Why?  I cannot explain.  Could be some kind of JFK “back-and-to-the-left” thing.

Shields? Explosion beforehand?

Rather than crash and explode (like jets are apt to do when they hit buildings), this airplane flies through the building, exiting the other side without a scratch. The windows on the back are three times the height on the front, which I guess is possible, but quite inconsistent.

The story never explains why exactly he had to fly it through the building.  Things like character motivation on decisions are kinda important to me.

He’s shooting the Khew-Khew Blasters! Ain’t that Khew?

After the building, he attacks the centipede, and crash-lands. He finally gets a thud on his head from the crash, but the jet is fine.  After crashing, he starts it back up and there is more aerial dogfighting, though the artwork flow is not great.

And, just because enough tropes haven’t been used in this series, his jet gets swallowed by the centipede.  Okay, the whale swallowed Jonah, Exogorth swallowed the Millennium Falcon, and an Abilisk swallowed Drax; there is quite enough of this trope going on, and it’s a bit old.

The last good one

In the process, a vision of his mother comes to help him, giving justification for the serious conversation from two issues back, similar to how Spider-Man remembers Aunt May and Mary Jane whenever he needs a boost of inspiration.

We know what happens next!

This allows him to… get out of the plane and walk around.  This is one multi-dimensional centipede, because his stomach was HUGE!  Sure, from the outside, the centipede looked 50′ to 100′ in diameter.  (That’s about 15 to 30 meters, for you metric folks!)  But from the inside, the centipede is the size of entire city blocks!

So he gets back in his jet, takes off, flies through the length of the body, and shoots out of its tail.  He suddenly turns around and shoots it with a single missile, killing it dead.  It didn’t explain why he didn’t shoot it earlier (too busy flying through a building, I guess).  And, unfortunately, the centipede didn’t get split into shorter centipedes, y’know, like the video game did.

The story ends with an inexplicable phone conversation with his boyfriend.

Boy, am I glad this is over.  I was so excited to see a Centipede comic, and wanted to relate it to the video game in a fun way.  But the three issues I read were just awful.

Again, it’s not the lowest rating possible.  The story was mildly understandable, which is far better than some other stuff out there (cough cough Wonder Woman/Bionic Woman cough cough).  It just wasn’t good on its own.

As an idea, I would love to read a Dig Dug comic.  I just hope they don’t try to take a serious side of it, like they did with Centipede.

You’re NEXT!

RATING: C– / 2  stars out of 5 / Thumbs Down

P.S.  Meanwhile, one month later, at the review assignment meeting at 2G1 Headquarters.  Ryan is wearing a Wolverine mask and holding bone claws.

Ryan:  Let’s get to those comics — they ain’t gonna review themselves.

Dean:  Not yet.  Wait until 2G1 Machine Learning comes out, then the Bots will be doing the reviews for us.

Ryan:  Well, that’s great, Eisenstein.  But until then, we’ll do reviews the old-fashioned way.  Sophia, you get the X-Men/Archie team up.  Roland, do the All-New Swamp Thing, and Mikey, hit up the new Ghostbusters Transsexual Edition.

Dean:  What about me?

Ryan:  Oh, you go long!

Dean:  You say that every month.  What does that even mean?!

Ryan:  What, you’re still here?  Fine, Christmas came eleven months early for you.  Here is the Centipede trade paperback.  <tosses book to Dean>

Dean:  <catches book, looks at cover>  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

 

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