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Book Review < Back

Offered vol. 2

Credits: Written by Kazuo Koike and Illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami
Publisher: ComicsOne


Once upon a time, a batshit McCarthyesque quack named Frederic Wertham wrote a book called SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT. It was through this classic tome of cultural scapegoating that the world learned of the insidious, communist, homosexualist plot to infect the healthy minds of American Youth via the common Comic Book. Wertham cut the balls off of the medium thanks to his exposure of the unnatural relationship of Batman and Robin, the tawdry bondage kink of Wonder Woman, and most of all, the delinquency-spawning violent imagery of what was, at the time, the medium's best selling genres: crime and horror comics. In Wertham's wake, comics were inflicted to something called the Comics Code Authority: a litany of the verboten that most comics - most - would struggle under for decades to come.

One thing lost to comics in Wertham's wake and one of his pet peeves with horror comics in general were, well, "Injury To Eye" covers. Rating mentions on at least ten pages of SOTI, the eye damage motif of crime and horror comics were, we were assured, one of the many horrific image triggers causing a rash of gayed-up commie juvenile delinquents in America. And thus, 1954 was the death knell for Injury To Eye moments in American comics.

Fredric Wertham never, ever went to Japan.

OFFERED vol. 2 has an Injury To Eye moment - hell, sequence! - that, if one could communicate its details to the late Doctor via Ouija board or spiritual medium, would cause his corpse to spontaneously combust, filling the Wertham family mausoleum with the smoke and stench of a lifetime lived in vain and woe for the children of Japan. And if he found out what happens to it AFTER the injury, Wertham would certainly burn the entire world.

If you read OFFERED vol. 1, you know that we're following a treasure hunt for the lost gold of Gilgamesh, and along the way have encountered Hitler's granddaughter, tusks of semen, alien mummies, a murderous commando couple, naked wind sprints on the beach, and half-brothers tied together less by family and more by, uh, their mothers being inseminated by Gilga-mush. OFFERED vol. 2 has more of that Man's Man-kind of storytelling and, as I mentioned in the above, the added bonus of a spectacular Injury To Eye.

Which, all in all, makes OFFERED vol. 2 the greatest comic book ever made.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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