Holy F*ck #4

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The grand finale of Holy F*ck is here. Will Jesus and Satan save the world from nuclear Armageddon? Will the world still have faith in Jesus? Will the comic include some dick jokes? Let’s discover the long and veiny truth!

The story wraps up with Jesus skydiving onto a nuclear missile and fucking it, yes, fucking it until it explodes. From there the other gods decide to leave when they can and leave Zeus hanging. Even Isis ends up leaving him.

The ending was great. The nun ends up killing Zeus but not in the violent way you thought would happen. Kind of like the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the way she kills Zeus is by telling him that he’s not a god anymore. He’s nothing. And because he’s nothing, there’s nothing he can do to stop her. And pop, he disappears, dead (maybe). I love how they acknowledged that as a deity, simply stabbing him or filling him full of lead with a machine gun would not be the way to end his life. Since they live by faith, they can die by faith. But much like Freddy Krueger, faith can bring him back and bring back his power thus setting up sequels.

I also really enjoyed the spoof on 80’s action films. Growing up in the 80’s, action stories to me are exaggerated fantasies. They’re just as much fantasies are the old sword and sorcery epics of ages past. While they are set in a world we are familiar with and using tools we recognize, they are not meant to be realistic stories that could happen. Action movies should not be like The French Connection. There should be lots of explosions, boobs, guns, boobs, and more explosions. There should be snappy one liners. Sometimes they can have a message but more often than not the most complex story should be that something bad happens to the good guy and he kills a hell of a lot of people in retribution.

This story has all the makings of an 80’s action film, albeit a spoof. It’s like Kung Fury with a message. It’s a message similar to Star Wars really. Yes, Star Wars has a message. A very simple one but a message nonetheless. For Star Wars that message is that being good can be a hard damn thing to do but in the end is much more fulfilling a life to live than it is to be evil.

For Holy F*ck the message is about faith. What could a comic where Jesus fucks a nuclear bomb into submission have to tell you in terms of a message? That if you are going to have faith in something, whether it be a deity, a politician, a spouse, something, that faith should never be based on fear. That faith should be based on love. Anything that you put your faith in that you’re afraid of is something that will let you down at some point. Let’s say in the story that Zeus and Isis were successful and people started following them. Much like Hitler during his rise, people had faith that he would bring Germany back from the ashes the other nations threw it in after World War One. But, again like Hitler, people ended up being tired of his rule, lost their faith in him, and ended up revolting. Something would have set Zeus and Isis off, probably paranoia, and caused them to destroy the very people they wanted to have faith in them.

The last pages set up a sequel quite nice. We end with Hercules coming home and being told by Anansi that his father was dead. And the last page reveals the name of the sequel series, Holy F*cked. I can’t wait. Yeah, I discovered this through Comic Blitz and I’m glad I did but I will not wait for the new series to arrive on Comic Blitz. I need it now!

Bottom Line:

This has been a wonderful series. What started off as a one note joke, which there is nothing wrong with that, believe me, turned into something a little deeper. Much like food, not every bit of writing needs to be a classic. For every gourmet meal you encounter, sometimes you want to pop some hot dogs into the microwave and pig out while watching South Park on Hulu. But this series has been more than that. What it has turned out to be is some nice Hebrew National hot dogs that have been fired up on the grill with all the toppings you could think of on top of it. When something like this comic can take a simple premise and just add that little bit of something that makes you tilt your head and go damn, they’re doing something right. Along with Ms. Marvel, this has been my new favorite comic series. Not because the writer and artist have both been very gracious in acknowledging the reviews I’ve been giving them (though that is one hell of a nice thing to do and something I will never forget) but because they have a damn fine piece of work here.

Growing up, Beavis and Butt-Head was one of my favorite television shows. Hell, if it were on now, I’d still laugh my ass off. The show made no excuses for what it was. It was dumb. It was intentionally written to features two idiots who reveled in the fact that they were dumb. The magic in that show though was the writing. You don’t realize the genius behind the writing until you try and do it yourself. Mike Judge did one hell of a job (as well as the other writers on the show of course) of building up the material. The show was a lot like a pressure cooker. The longer you watched, the more the comedy pressure built up until the very end where you just let it all go with a laugh.

This comic has been a lot like that but again, with a little something extra. Yes it’s crude. It’s sure to offend some folks. But they’re missing the fact that in the crudeness the creators are actually saying that faith, which the people who would be offended at the religious references in the story say they have, is very much a good thing if it is there for the right reasons. It’s a celebration of what the people who would be offended by this say they have. For that, you will not regret reading this comic. And if that doesn’t entertain you, Jesus fucking a nuclear missile will.

Chaos: Bad Kitty One Shot

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I’m a sucker for women with guns. For too long women have been made to be the damsel in distress. While sometimes it can be used to good effect, it really pigeon holes women as always needing to be saved which I can tell you after twelve years of marriage is not the case. Women can be just as strong as men if not more so.

Female characters in action movies are slowly becoming more dominant. In the past you had someone like Sigorney Weaver who in the Alien movies was probably one of the first mainstream actresses to tackle a role that men would normally have. My complain about those films though is that I could just as easily see a man doing everything she does. Sigorney Weaver is an amazing actress do not get me wrong and her contribution to that series is immeasurable. Her gender had nothing to bring to the role she played as Ripley.

On the flip side you have some filmmakers and comic book creators go the opposite direction. They will have a female lead who kicks ass but is also either overly sexualized in how they make her appear or they make her flightly and talk in stereotypical female talk that has no basis in reality like Marvel does with The Wasp. So when you come across a character who is able to kick ass, is very much what you expect from a living, breathing female, as well as not being forced to be a stereotype of some sort, you have to appreciate the results.

Bad Kitty is about a cop who has a split personality. She’s been able to keep her issue a secret until a bad guy she is tailing throws a grenade at a car she is sitting in and she ends up in the hospital.

I really likes how the writer went out of his way to present Katherine, the main characters real name, as a normal woman. She wasn’t oversexualized. She didn’t wear skimpy outfits she bought from an S&M shop that caters to size 0 women. She’s just a woman. I love that. Too often, even with Black Widow, women are drawn in unrealistic poses just to show off their curves and boobs. I think of this funny image I saw where someone redrew The Avengers movie poster and made the guys pose the way they had Black Widow pose.

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To see a woman as presented as just that, a woman, someone you could potentially meet during your daily life (hopefully without a grenade) is refreshing to see. Even when her split personality issue comes back and she’s Kitty the characters is not over done. She wears a little skimpier outfit than she initially wore but it is still something you would see a woman wear.

I also liked how the writer was able to differentiate between the two characters. Katherine was smart, intelligent, and could outwit someone like a chess master knowing they will put you in checkmate in twelve moves. Kitty on the other hand is as subtle as a brick to the head. She knows what she wants and if you get in her way, she’ll put your ass in the hospital. A nice twist on the Jekyll and Hyde story.

The art was a little sloppy but I liked how the artist went to the effort to show the split in Katherine’s mind. Near the end of her story her partner has her at gun point while she is Kitty. Kitty is aiming her gun at him. They are standing in front of a mirror and you can see the image of Katherine aiming a gun at Kitty as well. Visually we could see the split in her mind and that her dominant side, Katherine, was trying to fight its way back out. The art beautifully shows that the old adage show, don’t tell will make your story so much better.

Bottom Line:

This is a good start. Apparently this character was obtained via a bankruptcy hearing from Dynamite Comics from another company. This one shot is a chance for the company to make people aware of her while whetting their appetite for more potential stories.

I am conflicted though. While I loved this issue, I don’t know how far they can really draw out the story without Kitty and Katherine finally running afoul of the law. Katherine would eventually lose her job when it is discovered she is Kitty. Does she become a vigilante? Does she just say fuck it and become a criminal? Does she learn to tone down the violence? All interesting questions that could be explored but for the life of me I don’t see how this could be a regular on going series and continue to keep the split personality dynamic. Something would have to come to a head causing her to choose one or the other then the main thrust of the story so far would be gone. It would be a Katherine or Kitty story from that point on. Maybe they could keep any potential new series as just a limited run. Then you could explore the split more without having to find ways to keep it going. I give the story a 7 with the caveat that I don’t think it could make a successful continuing series.

The art again is pretty sloppy but don’t let that fool you. The artist does a great job of visually exploring the split in the character’s mind. It does more to bring out the craziness of what is going on than a two page long monologue would. I give the art an 8 as well. It’s a good story that could be dragged out for a few more issues but if they tried to make it a regular series, what makes this story special would quickly fade away.

Jennifer Blood #23

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Thanks to a deal on Comixology I was able to pick up the first 36 issues of the Jennifer Blood series from Dynamite Comics. The series was created by the legendary Garth Ennis who is most famous for the Welcome Back, Frank story involving The Punisher.

For the most part the series has been a pretty fun read. It’s similar in vein to the movie Machete. The reality of the story is there to give you interest in the characters while they go off and do bizarre crazy things. But this issue has shown some of the weakness of the story so far.

Jennifer Blood had been established from the start as someone who was meticulous in her planning in her crusade against her evil uncles. Every possible scenario she had planned outcomes for so she could do her job and get out alive with no one suspecting her. Yet almost from the start she starts making mistakes that are so fucking stupid that even I know they are wrong. For example, if she were keeping her weapon stash in her home with her unsuspecting husband and children why the hell would she let it slip that the damn door to the weapon stash was open? Why would she not only be dumb enough to write in excruciating detail every crime she committed but also keep it out in the open where her family could come across it and read her crimes? In the comic she’d tried passing it off as a therapy method but come on, the details she wrote were in such detail that only a complete imbecile would believe her excuse.

She’d also been discovered by her son to be a murderer. At one point she even thought about killing her kids as well despite the fact that one of her goals in doing everything she did was for her family. It is hard to feel sympathy for someone who really doesn’t show any real concern or love for her family. She certainly likes the THOUGHT of a family but not the fact that she has real members of her family.

This issue would have to be considered a flashback issue. It tells the duel story of how she was caught and imprisoned for her crimes while also detailing everything she’d done to get to this point. It is hard to feel sympathy for someone who takes such glee in committing the crimes she did. Now you may argue that The Punisher is the same. That Frank Castle is just the same as Jennifer Blood, someone who had the right intentions but is doing something horrible to achieve his goal. But Frank Castle has been established as being someone who is more of a planner. He wants the bad guys to pay the ultimate price but he also wants to make sure that innocents are never involved. And I have yet to come across a Punisher story that involved Frank doing something like taking the intestines of one of his victims and using it to spell out his initials. That’s the action of someone who is deranged and is a sociopath. Hell, she even suggests that she may have stabbed her dog when she was a kid. Frank Castle snapped and wanted bad guys to pay. No matter how wrong he is, there is something noble about his mission. Jennifer Blood is just a deranged lunatic. (I hope she didn’t hear me.) While the story is still quite entertaining to read, I find it more and more annoying that we’re being somehow forced to try and care about the actions of someone that clearly doesn’t deserve to be cared about.

The art work from issue one is a big plus. It walks the fine line between realistic action showcasing the absurdity of the story we are witnessing. She’s deranged and crazy. The artist does a great job of illustrating the insanity that floods her mind. We see the brutality she dishes out as well as her insane version of what a perfect life would be. He also does a great job in showing the reality that shows its face in her life on occasion, such as her son finally calling her on her shit. The emotion on the kids face is real and well done.

Bottom Line:

This story is not a realistic story in any sense. If you’re expecting anything resembling reality, avoid this comic. This is the type of comic for people who enjoy Jason Statham movies (such as myself). If you sit back and think too hard about what is going on, you will realize how silly and stupid everything that is happening to these characters. But if you want a simple premise with lots and lots of gratuitous action, this is the story for you. It has real glaring weak points which is why I have to give the story a 4.

The art is well done. Not classic by any means like Frank Miller’s work on The Dark Knight Returns or anything like that but it does a great job in giving us a glimpse into the mind of a nutso. The little bits of reality that do shine through ground the story and give it more depth. I give the art an 8.