Cutter #1

7.3 Overall Score
Art: 7/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Story: 7/10

Intriguing revenge story | A rather gross hook | Industry-derivative purposefully raw art | Everyone loves a mystery

The minimalist approach to the art might turn off some readers--but screw em! | This story of classmate revenge has definitely been told before.

Cutter #1
Robert Napton, Seamus Kevin Fahey, Christian DiBari
Minotaur Press/Top Cow Productions/Image Comics
2014

The opening sequence of this four-issue black-and-white four-shot comic from consistent graphic storytelling trailblazers Top Cow Productions opens with a penile amputation by way of garden shears.

Yeah…

Let’s take a quick step back.

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the superlative “Shotgun Wedding” released by the publisher back in April, “Cutter” is a weekly limited series fueled by vengeance featuring strong female influence—this time revolving around one particular woman with a penchant for the most physical form of emasculation possible.

The artwork is raw—devoid of computer enhancement that fills in shading blemishes, sharpens lines, and refines and isolates sections from one another—which allows for some interesting and quite rare graphical flourishes. The writing, a straight-forward and non-pretentious narrative rife with imagery and inference, does well to propel the story forward without soliciting the readers to indulge the plainly capable writers in mental masturbation.

The plot goes as such: Years ago, some kids did something bad to someone and now the chickens have come home to roost, so to speak. Someone—perhaps the past victim in question or not—is knocking off former Hatfield High students in particularly gruesome ways. At the center of this fiasco is Jeremy Samuels, a father in waiting who carries with him the guilt of mistreating a girl named Emily Higgins rather considerably some years back.

Former classmates also involved with the past incident have been dropping dead, and not of natural causes. By the end of this issue, the landscape for the next few issues has been appropriately drawn out and the intrigue—the hook, as it were—is aptly applied.

Graphically, this comic is better than passable–an entertaining visual romp that clearly prioritizes story over artistic whimsy. Plot-wise, the book is ripe for cinematic or televised adaptation, as the old revenge story is a classic trope that honestly never becomes tired as long as those telling the story are passionate while weaving their proverbial yarn.

All in all, Cutter is a promising story of comeuppance and fear, horror and interpersonal turmoil, and, at its heart, crime and punishment. It’s a timeless tale of pure, unbridled revenge. I don’t know where the story is going, necessarily, but I am absolutely sure I want to find out.

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Jesse Scheckner
Author: Jesse Scheckner View all posts by
A freelance writer who regularly produces work for MMA Owl, Tuff Gnarl, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Florida Geek Scene and Miami's Community Newspapers. Moderately relevant. Follow me on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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