Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Dregs' #1 By Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, Eric Zawadzki, and Dee Cunniffe


★★★★★ (5/5)

'The Dregs' is unlike any detective story you've ever read. It's not only in the spirit of hardboiled pulp novels like 'The Long Goodbye,' but offers a commentary of modern society like gentrification, drug abuse, and the plight of the homeless. Here's the solicitation that kind of gives the story away but it's so well executed that you still have to experience it.

A gentrified city. Its homeless population restricted to six square blocks called The Dregs. When people start disappearing, a drug-addled homeless man obsessed with detective fiction becomes addicted to solving the mystery. Equal parts Raymond Chandler and Don Quixote set in a thriving metropolis that literally cannibalizes the homeless, The Dregs is the first homeless meta noir ever made.

The drug-addled homeless man is Arnold and his friend has gone missing. The opening of the book makes it pretty clear that things in Vancouver's East Hastings neighborhood have gotten cutthroat. Between the homeless struggling to survive to the new developments popping up displacing them even further, Arnold has his work cut out for him as he tries to piece together what happened to his friend. 

Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson do their best to honor Raymond Chandler without falling into parody as Arnold operates as his favorite detective Philip Marlowe. He pounds the pavement looking for clues and realizes he's up against more than he bargained for. He has to battle not only whatever conspiracy that's befallen his friends but his own addiction. 'The Dregs' exposes the disposable ways that the homeless are treated, trapped between their own situation and the world that continues to encroach upon them. It's a multilayered story that elicits empathy, anxiety, and a level of real-world relatability to the series.  

Eric Zawadzki creates a wonderfully detailed urban center where Arnold can prowl like a panther, full of corners and alleys to navigate. The juxtaposition of the homeless detective made small by his environment and his circumstances. The layouts are creative and dynamic resulting in some of the most visually arresting pages you'll see in comics. It's all bolstered by Dee Cunniffe’s coloring. Using muted earth and rust hues, Cunniffe captures the often dirty little corners of a downtown where every dark corner can be home to someone full of belongings that may seem like trash to us. 

'The Dregs' #1 is a winning debut that takes an unlikely protagonist on a mysterious journey that also reflects the ugliness in our own world. Masterfully crafted with a nod to crime noir of the past, Nadler and Thompson have created a true detective story that crackles with hard-boiled fiction and social criticism. It would be a crime to miss out on this title.  

Popular posts from this blog

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Winnebago Graveyard' #1 by Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, and Stéphane Paitreau

Steve Niles and Alison Sampson have arrived to disrupt your bedtime. What happens when an American family traveling on vacation finds themselves stranded in a small town with a sinister secret? The answer is a whole lot of creepy.


WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1 (OF 4) Story: Steve Niles Art / Cover: Aditya Bidikar, Alison Sampson, Jordie Bellaire, Stéphane Paitreau Variant Cover: Mingjue Helen Chen Published: June 14, 2017 Diamond ID: APR170724 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Niles wastes no time in setting the tone of  this limited horror series 'Winnebago Graveyard.' A couple is abducted by people in hooded robes and are sacrificed during some kind of satanic ceremony that gives birth to something I can't explain here. You'll have to see it for yourselves. Then we're introduced to our protagonists, the dysfunctional family traveling via the titular Winnebago. They make the same mistake every person in a horror does, they stay at the creepiest locations instead …

REVIEW: 'Samaritan: Veritas' #1 by Matt Hawkins, Atilio Rojo, and Troy Peteri

Born out of The Tithe, 'Samaritan: Veritas,' takes on a whole new target as hacker Samantha Copeland is on the run and looking for revenge. It's a thrilling new chapter from Top Cow's Edenverse written by Matt Hawkins with art from Atilio Rojo.


SAMARITAN #1 Story: Matt Hawkins Art / Lettering / Cover: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Published: May 24, 2017 Diamond ID: MAR170694 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Tithe found Samaritan taking on nefarious mega-churches and this time the only things more corrupt are the U.S. government and military contractors. The President is in Samantha's crosshairs but she's also a hunted woman using all her hacking skills and the resources of the dark web to counter her pursuers. It's this complex cat-and-mouse game that Hawkins unfolds while also providing Samantha's background for new readers. Hawkins does a delicate balancing act adding exposition with flashbacks while moving the story forward in the prese…

REVIEW: 'Magnus' #1 by Kyle Higgins, Jorge Fornes, and Chris O'Halloran

Dynamite keeps reinventing classic Gold Key Comics characters and their latest iteration of Magnus, Robot Fighter, is neither a man nor a robot fighter. What 'Magnus' #1 is, it's a fascinating piece of speculative fiction from Kyle Higgins and Jorge Fornes that is smart, immersive, and thought-provoking.


Magnus #1 writer: Kyle Higgins (main story), Chuck Wendig (Turok bonus story) artist: Jorge Fornés (main story), Chris O'Halloran (main story),  Álvaro Sarraseca (Turok bonus story) letters: Taylor Esposito covers:  Giuseppe Camuncoli (a), Jorge Fornés (b),  Aaron Conley (c), Daniel Warren Johnson(d) incentive covers: Jorge Fornés (B/W art), Aaron Conley (B/W art),  Giuseppe Camuncoli (B/W art), Jorge Fornés (“virgin art”), Aaron Conley (“virgin art”) Order the cover of your choice! FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ 
★★★★★ (5/5)
Thanks to shows like Westworld and Black Mirror, science fiction is sexy again and it's not just aliens and space travel either. Instead, the th…

REVIEW: 'Romulus' #4 by Bryan Hill, Nelson Blake II, and Kevin Lennertz

Ashlar finds herself in the belly of the beast. She's got to go through Achilles to try and rescue Nicholas from the clutches of the leader of The Order of Romulus. Will the end of this story arc be the end of Ashlar?


ROMULUS #4 Story: Bryan Hill Art: Nelson Blake II, Kevin Lennertz Letterer: Deron Bennett Published: May 31, 2017 Diamond ID: NOV160639 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
After an unexpected break between issues, Bryan Hill and Nelson Blake II are back with the conclusion of the series first arc. Ashlar's thirst for revenge hasn't lessened, she's still determined as ever to kill the people responsible for her mother's death. Hill has kept her consistent, single-minded in her approach with a few annoyances along the way. Yet, she feels responsible for saving Nicholas from The Order as well. Her journey comes to this final showdown and it doesn't disappoint.
Without giving away the exciting conclusion, Hill delivers a tense confrontation that fl…

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 6/7/17

New Comic Book Day 6/7/17 by Slidely Slideshow
Welcome to another week of awesome comics. This week we have some great new recommendations. It's bittersweet as Faith reaches its twelfth and final issue on her solo run. Her next mini arrives in July. Get your new #1's - Iceman, Magnus, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse, Babyteeth, and the Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor special. Don't forget about a very special issue of Batman (#24) you've probably already heard about. Here are some reliable monthly hits you shouldn't be without: Reborn, Paper Girls, Riverdale, Heathen, Extremity, Unstoppable Wasp, Giant Days, and Catalyst Prime: Noble. Happy reading.

(W) Mark Millar(A/CA) Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion MINI-SERIES FINALE! The big finale of the smash-hit MILLAR-CAPULLO series REBORN is here. The action-packed climax sees Bonnie taking revenge on past enemies and finding her husband Harry, with Big Tom and Roy-Boy by her side.

(W) Natasha Alterici(A) Natasha Alterici(CA) Te…