DC Horror Presents Soul Plumber #1 is an unhinged adventure from the minds behind The Last Podcast on the Left, with art by McCrea and Holden.
Sometimes, God needs a little help. In DC Horror Presents Soul Plumber, that help comes in the form of Edgar, a gas-station worker who decides to turn his life around by becoming a bargain-basement exorcist. Originally announced over the summer, Soul Plumber is the first original property from the new DC Comics horror imprint. Created by Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel of The Last Podcast on the Left with art by John McCrea and PJ Holden, colors by Mike Spicer, and letters by Becca Carey, DC Horror Presents Soul Plumber #1 is a wild action-horror hybrid with an unhinged premise and even crazier characters.
DC Horror Presents Soul Plumber #1 introduces readers to Edgar, a service-station employee who found God in gasoline after being kicked out of seminary. Edgar is searching for ways to channel his affinity for God into his daily life, while surrounded by the unloved and unwanted citizens of Indianapolis. One day, he meets a supposed man of God who runs a business that provides the tools needed to perform exorcisms. Too broke to pay for the service, Edgar steals the blueprint for the Spirit PlungerTM and builds his own. But without any instructions on how to properly perform an exorcism, has Edgar plunged into something he’ll never escape?
The Last Podcast on the Left team of Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel share creator credit for Soul Plumber #1. Though this is the comic book debut for the trio, they show an immediate understanding of the medium and craft a unique narrative. Everything about this book is larger-than-life, from the premise to the characters that guide the story. The series is a scathing satire of those who look to profit off of God’s good name, and the poor souls too dumb to realize that they’re being manipulated. Edgar is a particularly discomforting lead and his misguided devotion to God is entertaining to read. However, the real show-stealer is Harvey Positano, the man swindling people out of their money with a bogus exorcism display. While he claims that he skips from town to town, it would be nice to see him stick around for future issues.
To contrast the relatively inexperienced writers, Soul Plumber #1 is drawn by veteran artists John McCrea and PJ Holden. McCrea, coming off of a stint on The Swamp Thing, handles the majority of the issue by depicting the depraved details of Edgar’s world with rough linework. His art is energetic and expressive, making the book feel like a twisted Adult Swim cartoon. For his part, 2000 AD veteran Holden matches McCrea’s intensity, making Edgar’s final moment of triumph feel vile and disgusting. These are two artists who thrive when they’re able to channel their imaginations and make things intentionally ugly, and together they make the world of Soul Plumber stand out.
Ultimately, the only way to properly describe Soul Plumber is by calling it “unhinged.” Every facet of this issue’s construction is ramped up to a level that most creators are afraid to approach. The cast feels like they would get kicked off of The Jerry Springer Show for being too wild. The aesthetic makes you want to scrub your eyes with soap and the premise is blasphemous in every sense imaginable. As such, this will most definitely not be a comic for everybody. But that is also the charm of Soul Plumber because it is unafraid to offend and provoke in a way rarely seen by mainstream publishers. As DC continues to explore horror, one cannot help but hope for more stories that match this book’s intensity.
Overall, Soul Plumber #1 is an explosive debut for DC Horror’s original series and the creators of The Last Podcast on the Left. Guided by the veteran hands of McCrea and Holden, it is a perfectly vile and depraved read that will be perfect for its audience, even if it offends others. With more and more creators embracing horror comics, DC Horror Presents Soul Plumber sets the standard for what can be achieved when fresh voices are given a platform to express themselves.
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