Page 45 Review by Alex Sarll
Full and final incarnation of CHERUBS, the first slither of which was published, what, half a dozen years ago? The forward by a MEL GIBSON is new joined by an afterward by THE paul POPE, a gag which works better on the cover than it does here in print. I note an appearance by Alan Moore in the new material, but now hand you back to Alex Velveteen Sarll who originally reviewed the first few cantos thus:
I think of Bryan Talbot mainly as a writer/artist, and specifically as a writer/artist of grand, epic stuff: given the two LUTHER ARKWRIGHTs, and the crossover impact of his majestic ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, I doubt I'm alone in that. I know he's an artist for other writers, too - one of the first comics I specifically remember reading was a compilation of his NEMESIS THE WARLOCK. But I've never seen anything he's written for another artist before, and I've never seen him be quite this knockabout.
The artist here is one Mark Stafford, whose work I don't know; I'm not feeling too guilty about that given his creator bio describes his work as "appearing in books and exhibiting in shows you've never heard of". What I can tell you is that his scrappy, cartoonish style is just right for this one.
Talbot's revisited the Divine Comedy as slapstick, with a gaggle of cherubs framed for Heaven's first murder by a rogue angel, then getting to grips with the pleasures and perils of physicality once they escape to Earth. It's in the same punchy, pyrotechnic tradition of irreverence as Ennis' PREACHER or Kirkman's BATTLE POPE, and once a bunch of vampire gangsters get involved too it's salted with Buffy and Blade parodies too. After a magnum opus like ALICE, you can see how a punky little pop single of a comic like this would appeal, if only as a palate cleanser. And while it's never going to attract the same volume of critical awe, who cares? It's really good fun.