This comic is a loving tribute to the B-movies of the last twenty or so years. Now before you throw your hands up and guffaw, let me explain that this is not necessarily a good nor a bad thing, rather I am affirming, or perhaps accepting, what this comic comparatively borrows from (or perhaps contributes to) the medium of film B-genre.The narrative is a quick digression into monster hunter cliche: rag-tag bunch of good guys show up in isolated spot to take down unspeakable evil that is perhaps stronger than they imagined. We have strong archetypes for the B-movie genre in place for the main people in the group of monster hunters: A spunky protagonist (here what is being set up as part female Constantine, part Buffy the Vampire Slayer), a priest who has the ol “thousand yard stare” and chain smokes because of it, and a character actually named cowboy who is…well he is a cowboy it appears. They are put into an isolated setting in an isolated town in order to battle evil, an evil in the form of the demonic possession of a group of 2nd graders, which brings to mind another classic B-movie “Village of the Damned”. If this is starting to sound like a cross between a John Carpenter flick and some Joss Whedon-like stretches of dialogue, you would be 100 percent correct. In fact, the story feels very much like Carpenter’s 1998 film Vampires, in which James Woods plays a cigar chomping, wise cracking, take no guff leader of a band of vampire hunters hired by the Vatican to take down the classic creatures of the night.I am actually delighted that the artwork here is in black and white. The art and inks of Vinnie Rico stand out and give the book the necessary atmosphere of serious danger that the dialogue comes up a bit short on. In the very first page of the story, Rico provides us with the opening of a gated hell mouth, bursting with all the baddies of our nightmares onto a solitary old west street, where the ominous narration tells us : “Demon horde unleashed from hell? Check. Twenty seconds and counting. The end? Pretty freakin’ nigh”. Rico’s detailed line work in this establishing page pushes the reader to go forward to investigate further, and he, in my opinion, rewards those who do.The End Is Totally Nigh is admirable, big cheesy fun, and it does not try to be anything else. This comic is an homage to escapism and rainy afternoon cable movies, complete with a cliff hanger, a mysterious stranger appearance, and a hint at a future plot twist if there is to be an issue two. While this may not be everyones cup of tea, it will undoubtedly bring some serious comfort food joy to those who seek such entertainments.
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