Cherubs! (Dark Horse)

A group of angels goes on the lam when they’re accused of heaven’s first murder in this twisted new book with a bit of ’60s underground flair.


192 pages, B&W, $14.99
(W: Bryan Talbot; A: Mark Stafford)
Can anyone out there think of anything funnier than a story involving murderous angels, demon possessed pop stars, and more spoof references than you can shake a stick at? If the answer is no, then Cherubs! by Bryan Talbot and Mark Stafford is the equivalent of comic Nirvana here on Earth.
Cherubs! is a strange and humorous story of a group of Cherubim that are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, heaven’s first homicide. Suddenly wanted by the celestial authorities, they flee to earth where they find a haven with a stripper named Mary while they search for the real perpetrator, the dark archangel Abbadon. Along the way they fight vampires, befriend fairies, and even face down Satan himself.
The artwork in the book, courtesy of Mark Stafford, is reminiscent of the art spawned by the underground comic movement. It’s that perfect mixture of slightly lewd, cartoony, and downright bizarre that keeps your eyes transfixed to the page. This impression is made stronger by the decision to print the entire book in black and white, giving it that independent comic feel. The color choice also serves to highlight the moral qualities of the various planes of existence the Cherubim pass through. In each plane the varying shades of black, white and gray become representative of the moral absolutes of that plane. For example, Heaven is mostly white with trace amount of line art while Earth is mostly shades of black and gray.
The story is just as twisted and humorous as the artwork it accompanies. In addition to the already strange plot, throughout the course of the story Talbot and Stafford manage to make fun of almost everything, ranging from Terminator, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scooby Doo and even Ozzy Osbourne. Each spoof is more silly than mocking, although at times the sheer volume of spoof references in any given scene can be a touch overwhelming.
Overall though, the story is strange, funny, and interesting to the very last page. If you enjoy a good comic where the little guy struggles against overwhelming adversity, this is a good one to pick up, because these Cherubim are some of the littlest guys you’ll ever meet. | Brent Mueller


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