Written by Doug Wagner
Art by Daniel Hillyard, Laura Martin, and Ed Dukeshire
Published by Image comics
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Plastic, in its purest form, is a book about love. Maybe not Romeo and Juliet, or Jim and Pam love, but more like Lars and Bianca love. Written by Doug Wagner, this new limited series from Image tells the story of a retired serial killer Edwyn Stoffgruppen, and his sex doll love interest Virginia. Right off the bat things get pretty steamy, when we meet Edwyn and Virginia while they are having sex in the back of a car. I loved how Wagner opened the book like this. Not because I found it erotically stimulating, but because I felt like it was a quick punch to the readers gut, letting them know that it’s about to get weird.
If you’re a fan of awkward moments, this book has plenty of them. From Edwyn being oddly specific about the kind of cleaning brushes a quick mart sells, in order to make sure he gets the softest brush to clean out his dear Virginia. To the eerily romantic moment where he feeds Virginia a cream filled doughnut, as they watch the sun rise from a park bench. It’s those little moments of creepy love that help shape this book into the twisted love story it is.
Aside from the awkward moments this book offers, Wagner also sets the foundation for a very interesting story. While Edwyn is replenishing his usual supply of petroleum jelly, doughnut, and cleaning brushes, a group of young boys begin to bother Virginia. As you can expect from an ex serial killer, Edwyn does not have the best of tempers. When he finds the boys mocking her and calling her “sweet tits”, it is game over. But what Edwyn doesn’t know, is that one of the young boys he ruffed up, is the son of a very powerful man named Thaddeus Belliveau.
Once Thaddeus catches wind of the situation, Edwyn and Virginia are abducted. When Edwyn comes to, Wagner does a great job of showing us the kind of calculated killer he truly is. Wagner doesn’t have Edwyn go on a rampage, but instead we get panels and panels of Edwyn’s investigating room. We see him calculate the rooms square footage and locate all the objects he could use to kill. In order to get Virginia back, Thaddeus gives Edwyn an ultimatum. Edwyn must kill for him. Putting him back into the kind of life he tried so hard to leave behind.
Co-creator and artist Daniel Hillyard does a great job in this first issue. The art isn’t huge or breathtaking, but it’s the little things like Edwyn’s array of facial expressions that really stand out. Hillyard is able to have Edwyn go from manic, to mad or anywhere and everywhere in between. This allows Wagner to not focus on telling us how crazy Edwyn is, but instead without words we are able to see and understand. Laura Martins’s colors also kill it in this book. She lays down a pallet that can be dull and simple, but also bright when needed. The colors in this book do not blow me away by any means, but are truly a perfect compliment to the story and art style of Hillyard.
Going into this book, I didn’t know much about Doug Wagner, but he has truly pulled me in. I will be on the lookout for his work in the future.
I would recommend this book to:
Fans of the films Her, or Lars and the Real Girl. But really anyone who loves to read weird shit.