Words: Swifty Lang
Pictures: Skuds McKinley
Opening up Plunder #1 is like diving face first into a nightmare…with your eyes open. It’s a trippy, disturbing adventure that stays with you.
I didn’t know what to expect with Plunder. I hadn’t read anything about it, but thought, “Hey, it’s got a cool, psychedelic cover with pirates and sea monsters, let’s give it a go. But man, what I found inside was so much more disturbing. Reading Plunder reminded me of watching Event Horizon (which is cool, because I like that movie). We dive right into the action with a group of modern day pirates in a fire fight with Chinese sailors. On the first panel of page one, I knew something was going to be odd with that big red tentacle flailing there in the water and no one apparently sees it. Ok, I can dig that. But then as we meet the pirate crew, things grow odder still. They seem to be a collection of freaks and misfits lead by a mysterious, and possibly psychic, captain named Internet. With names like Dead Tooth and Disco, you know this is one collection of folks you won’t find just anywhere.
But when they happen upon the US Seeker seemingly drifting aimlessly on the high seas, that’s when we take a turn to the completely out there. Here’s a giant ship, with no signs of life, that is littered with a strange oily, rubbery substance which old boy sticks the stump of his arm into, because that seems like the thing to do when you find an awful smelling unknown substance covering an abandon ship. (Yes, I said stump of his arm. He’s missing a hand. I said they were a freak show.) Then, if the putrid substance weren’t enough, they find blood on the sides of the ship. And that leads them to the arm hanging from the handle of the door to down below. Just an arm. Hanging there.
From there the horror really cranks up and you really start to get that “madness at sea” vibe in full force. I mean they find all kinds of mutilated bodies lying here and there in various degrees of dismemberment. At one point, the weird oily rubbery substance starts to move in one of the crews hands. And then there’s the guy in the kitchen (or is the “mess” when it’s on a ship?) cutting his own fingers off and frying them up. I mean this thing just keeps throwing disturbing image after disturbing image at you. And the whole time I’m left wondering, “What am I reading?” Yet I can’t seem to stop reading.
I’ll give it to Swifty and Skuds, they have put together a memorable book that has definitely left its mark. I don’t know what it was I was expecting when I cracked the cover of this one, and I’m still not 100% sure what it was I read, but I want to know what happens next.
3.75 out of 5 Finger Fries