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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
In Twig, a comic horror fantasy by DeLawrence Washington, Jr., the first-person protagonist, Twig, is a skinny young man aspiring to be a superhero who fights evil and who improves his chaotic and violent world. That world, Mock City, however, seems beyond improvement. It is a place with portals through which terrorist misfits from all over the universe are cast into without the possibility of escape. Good-hearted Twig is made of rubber and cannot be killed—good for defense but not for offense. Each arm or leg of his that is cut off or shot through grows back. His trampoline-like feet allow him to bound over tall buildings. Sadly, in his attempt to do good things, he keeps accidentally causing the deaths of others. He works as a janitor in a blood-soaked shopping mall with his pal Cloud, who consists of a mass of gasses. New malignant monsters continually enter through portals, thus adding to the madness. Along with the text are the author’s excellent graphics.
DeLawrence Washington gives us so much exaggerated gore and mayhem that for me to keep the smile off my face was impossible. Could Mock City be Mr. Washington’s metaphor for America’s prisons? It reminds me of the famous bar scene from Star Wars except with violent monsters of the most amazing descriptions from author Washington’s ultra-fertile imagination. Twig’s world is populated by outcast villains, and only The Trio, three superheroes, are there to attempt the maintenance of order. For Twig, who wants to help them and wears a scarf as a cape, it’s only one bloody, horrifying mess after another, the tension never letting up. Mr. Washington’s fabulously demented creative mind has given us a horrific masterpiece with his tongue in his cheek from beginning to end. The story, however, of a good and persistent soul committed to improving his world despite overwhelming challenges has universal appeal, so that in Twig’s case we can’t do anything other than root for him. DeLawrence Washington, Jr.’s novel Twig is pure comic bedlam!