First published back in 1992, following on from six classic pulp horror novels and a number of short stories, the crabs saga found its way into the world of graphic novels with the publication of ‘Crabs’ Fury’. Sporting artwork by the now renowned Charlie Adlard, the publication followed suit both in the gritty storyline and the callous gore contained herein. After its initial release, the graphic novel fell into obscurity, later becoming a highly sort after addition into the crabs series. Only in November of 2008 did ‘Crabs’ Fury’ finally get the re-release that the Guy N Smith enthusiasts have waited with baited breaths for. Published through Ghostwriter Publications, an initial batch of just 100 copies was released, containing a justifiably praise-filled afterward by popular blogger and co-author of ‘Tough To Kill, The Italian Action Explosion’ (2008) David Zuzelo.
Years have now passed since the last giant crab sighting, however Professor Cliff Davenport is far from convinced that their terrible attacks on mankind are a thing of the past. His wife Pat Davenport decides that they both need to take a break from it all and so books a surprise holiday to Bermuda for the two of them. However, Cliff has an important meeting with Commander Grisedale in Whitehall which he must attend to first. The two decide that Cliff will have to simply meet up with Pat in Bermuda a couple of days later. All seems fine until upon reaching Bermuda, Cliff learns that Pat’s ship never arrived.
Informed that the ship was lost in the Bermuda triangle, Cliff takes it upon himself to investigate the disappearance. Arriving at Haiti, Cliff speaks with the Doctor Milo, a man with a vast amount of knowledge regarding the legends of the giant crabs in the area. But soon enough Cliff learns of Milo’s actual involvement with the crabs, the sacrifices and his ruling power over the zombie-like residents of the neighbouring islands. But Milo won’t tolerate any of Cliff’s snooping around, and as such, another sacrificial feast for the crustacean army is planned...
The action picks up at an unusually slow pace, with the premise for the tale detailed over the first few pages instead of the usual initial onslaught to get the reader quickly into the swing of things. However, following on from Doctor Milo’s reciting of the great crabs’ legend, the clickerty-click action soon picks up as Davenport’s investigations eventually lead him to Milo’s sacrificial offerings for the giant crabs.
Pat Davenport is still nowhere to be seen, but it's not long before Cliff picks up one of the locals named Marita who was the next planned sacrifice. The pace is maintained as the two venture on to 'The Isle Of Death' where it’s time for some more sacrificial crab fun. Although the storyline would allow for a mass of over-the-top graphic gore, the actual artwork holds back somewhat from this, with only the odd savage attack offering up any sort of splatter-filled fun.
The combination of the traditional voodoo inspired trance-like zombie locals with the worshipping of the great crab ‘gods’ brings out an interesting twist on the tale. Possibly inspired by the storyline in ‘Crabs: The Human Sacrifice’ (1988) as well as a thick helping from the premise of ‘Killer Crabs’ (1978), the end result is a tale that seems to fit snugly within the series without delivering any of its own stand-out qualities.
The finale is typically dramatic with a somewhat weak conclusion. A few loose threads stay annoyingly unattended to, leaving the reader slightly perturbed by the simplistic nature of the final few pages. However, the excitement and enjoyment of reading another addition into the crabs series is enough to hail this as a thoroughly essential pulp horror read.
The graphic novel itself runs for a total of 31 pages. The re-release also includes an afterward by David Zuzelo entitled ‘Crustacean Domination: Clicking Along Appreciatively With The Crabs of Guy N Smith’ that covers an additional 7 pages.
© DLS Reviews