Pages: 128 Language: English Publisher: DC Comics Follow the dysfunctional. disturbing adventures of exterminator Henry James and his freakish cohorts as they take on the cruel chaos of nature in the dirtiest corners of Los Angeles When Henry and his partner Stretch get an emergency call to dispose of a black widow thats been terrorizing a local SandM club. what they encounter will change their newfound mission And when the cockroaches take guerilla war to a frightening new level -. staging suicide attacks on the Los Angeles power grid - is it six-legged heroism. or insect terrorism The resulting outages lead to mass panic as man turns against man. paving the way for a roach revolution.
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Henry, Stretch and Kevin, exterminators with the Bug-Bee-Gone company ("here to mop up nature's little mishaps"), are called in to handle an infestation at a literary brothel where clients pay to act out fantasies from Burroughs, Kafka and Carroll. But the problem is much larger, as tens of millions of roachlike critters begin coursing through the sewers and taking over electrical plants. The final showdown between the exterminators and the bugs is typical of the book's outstanding dialogue, as the three partners engage in lengthy conversations about world religion while stomping through the "crap bisque" of a city sewer. The bug story (which incorporates Egyptology and allegory about the war in Iraq) weaves through Henry's deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend, Kevin's after-hours job as a pro wrestler in a seedy fight club and a particularly well-done interlude where three major characters visit their respective mothers for advice. The color palette is appropriately dark and grimy; this is evidently a world where the sun seldom shines and when it does, it does so harshly. Artists Moore, Samnee and Parks use closeups to powerful effect and the scenes involving the army of bugs maximize the squirm factor. (Mar.)
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From the morbidly hilarious Bug Brothers (2006), The Exterminators settles into what would be, if it were a fantasy trilogy, a second-book slump. There's development aplenty as hero Henry James and corporate-ladder-climbing Laura break up, get involved with others, and each, as well as Henry's newbie (who works in a private library fronting a fantasy-fulfillment brothel for literary erotomanes), consults Mom. Meanwhile, the mutant roaches attack L.A.'s civilizational support systems, starting with convenience stores. Oliver's revolting black humor and Tony Moore's nasty art aren't as exuberant this time. Maybe they'll regain the gusto in the third arc. Ray Olson
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