To get the technicalities out of the way, "Cherubs" is Bryan Talbot and Mark Stafford's gift to the graphic novel world. :) What a gift it is, too! And of course, it's made possible in part by Dark Horse.
Without giving a lot away, I'll just say that this was a FUN novel to read.
The novel opens with a group of cutesy-but-creepy Cherubs lounging around in heaven. Trying to think of something to do, the little ones are just setting themselves up for trouble. In paradise, they're miserably bored, despite taking part in some unholy things (spying on changing girls, for example). See? It's already not what you'd expect. Needless to say, when Abaddon (an archangel), strolls by with a machine gun, the Cherubs are interested, and follow.
The thing about Abaddon is that he's seemingly just as bored as the Cherubs. He wishes to rule in Hell, rather than to be a lackey in Heaven. To do this, he's set about the task of proving that he's truly evil, and worthy of Hell's throne. He's headed to the council, and the Cherubs, following, are witness to the first murder in Heaven. Abaddon disappears, leaving the Cherubs investigating. When the big guys appear, they see the Cherubs, holding a machine gun, and a slew of dead angles. Looks bad? Oh yes. Apparently when murder's committed in Heaven, you don't get the time to explain yourself. The Cherubs, wanting to clear their names, set out after Abaddon, and the party REALLY starts.
For the sake of leaving surprises and saving you from reading ten pages, I'll say that the Cherubs end up in New York City where they befriend an exotic dancer. She's recently quit her job, demanded her pay, and, with money in hand, she walks about the door. Little does she know, her blood-thirsty, vampire, mobster boss has sent his men after her to retrieve his money. The Cherubs step in and save her, but not without consequences. Now, there's an even higher reward on her head.
Through their friendship, the Cherubs learn a lot about being human-ish. They experience new sensations like hunger, the need to urinate, and...um...the thing that happens when guys watch an exotic dancer do her thing (I seriously laughed for five minutes). As the Cherubs work to clear their names, save their friend, and restore order, there's never a dull moment. Just when you think it's all over...surprise ending that, honestly, made my jaw drop. Maybe I'm just stupid. Or maybe I was so wrapped up in all the action that I didn't have time to see it coming. Whatever the case, well played, Bryan and Mark. Well played....
The whole story is entertaining from start to finish, and I couldn't believe how many culture references there are! On top of that, I feel like a comedian had a hand in writing "Cherubs"! They story is full of ghouls, monsters, and divine beings, but it's not cheesy and typical. Everything works together, everything has a place. It's truly a story like nothing else I've ever read and it's by far the funniest graphic novel I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing.
In fact, I'm thinking that I know what everyone's getting for Valentine's day!
You can pre-order "Cherubs" at Things from Another World and save 20%!
It definitely gets a 5/5 on all fronts! The art is unique and grungy. It's very fitting of the setting and personalities of the characters. The novel is VERY well written, unpredictable, action-packed, and HILARIOUS!