Garth Ennis was a featured guest at Comic-Con three years ago and his directorial debut was spotlighted at two of the panels I saw him at. Called “Stitched,” it featured the survivors of a downed Black Hawk chopper trying to make their way through a desolate part of Afghanistan. Along the way they encounter some slow-moving, but seemingly unkillable people with their eyes and mouths stitched shut. The survivors are saved by the S.A.S. squad that they were sent to rescue, and now the two groups have to find out how to deal with this new threat as they try to make it out of the desert. For a first effort, the film wasn’t bad, and it at least made me interested in seeing what happened next. That’s what this volume here is about as writer/artist Mike Wolfer works from Ennis’ plot to show us who winds up making it out of the country alive.
Given that he’s worked with Ennis before on “Streets of Glory” and with Warren Ellis extensively on their comics featuring Combat Magician William Gravel, Wolfer clearly knows a thing or two about how hard men and women deal with threats greater than themselves. So even though this likely represents his vision rather than one of my favorite writers, the end result is very much in the same vein and highly readable as a result. The only problem is that at seven issues the pace starts to drag and the violence starts to become wearying regardless of how well-executed it is. Wolfer also throws in a late-inning twist that implies these stitched are part of a greater evil and that this business in Afghanistan is only the beginning. I can’t say that I feel threatened by this idea as his efforts to get us to believe that these things could ever be menacing on a scale larger than what we see here generally fall flat. What’s here is still a reasonably satisfying slice of comfort food for fans of Ennis and Ellis, even if it doesn’t do a good job of indicating that it could be more than that.