cherubsDark Horse has released the complete collected edition of the cheeky and rebellious Cherubs! It’s written by the legendary Bryan Talbot (Grandville, Alice In Sunderland), who also provided the layouts, and the book is drawn by artist Mark Stafford.

Cherubs! is an absolute blast.  It’s rude, naughty and bloomin’ hilarious. We love the jokes in reference to the butt nakedness of the Cherubs “How’s it hanging? You can see how it’s hanging Jasper.”

Here’s a bit of blurb about the story for you: up in heaven the Cherubs are bored as it’s all too perfect. Stuck up there since the Renaissance, they’re getting a serious case of itchy feet (even watching all the angelic ladies bathing isn’t staving off the monotony). Meanwhile, the Archangel Abaddon (a bit of a dick) has made a deal with the Devil to take over heaven, and then obvioulsly takes a machine gun to the Holy Council.

Then the Cherubs get accused of these murders after getting caught with the gun and a big pile of Angel corpses; this is the first murder in Heaven so they have to leg it. They head to New York to find Abbadon and clear their names. They bump into exotic dancer Mary on the run from Vampire crime boss Frankie Dracula. They team up to take down the bad guys, including the biggest bad of them all Satan.

Sounds good right? So go buy it! But if that wasn’t enough, the characterisation is marvellous too; Granville has really put some effort into making the Cherubs a clever comedy duo on top of feeding the narrative.

The cupids are Zak (the cute one), Joe (the cheeky one), Enoch (the clever one) Jasper (the nervy one) and Mal (the fat one). It is hilarious watching them adjust to life on earth: their first belch, farts and how they deal with hangovers are a particular treat. They are a spunky bunch determined to set things right…but happy to have some fun along the way.

Mary is awesome. She is full of sass and sex appeal, while maintaining sympathy in her character. She does end up just reduced to the damsel in distress at the end though, and it would be nice to have seen her kick a bit more ass.

The minor characters are hilarious. Boris, Dracula’s atheist minion, is a brilliant dumb brute. The Seraphim duo sent to take down the cherubs are a brilliantly mismatched pair: one a cultured gentle type and the other a psychotic gun happy nutcase. There’s also a litany of ghouls, zombies and other supernatural types who get some brilliant one liners. The feminist witch in particular made us chuckle.

The story is fast paced and absolutely barmy. You’ve got angels, gangsters, exotic dancers, vampires, minions, witches, werewolves and other various angelic and not so angelic creatures.  On top of that geeks will love references to Buffy, Dirty Harry, Shakespeare, Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, The Avengers and all sorts stuffed in its pages.

Talbot’s writing is full of affectionate mickey-taking and brilliant zingers. It’s funny but also has a lot of heart. You’ll really root for the Cherubs to win as their adorable little faces will really get under your skin. Talbot has a real gift for creating stores that make you want to keep reading, to the extent that we stayed up till the wee hours of the morning devouring this comic.

The artwork is scratchy and chaotic. We love Mark Stafford’s use of really extreme expressions on characters. The whole thing looks a bit like Hanna Barbera attempting a Picasso. There is so much detail going on in even the smallest panels and he has a great gift for drawing the comically grotesque.

In short if you like the supernatural, fart jokes and gorgeous artwork you will love this book. We did…so much so that we are off to go read it again!

Rating: 5/5
Sara Westrop

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