Issue: Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Writer: Malachai Nicolle
Artist: Ethan Nicolle
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Do not read Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth while drunk. It is very likely you will wake up the next morning with a tattoo of a T-Rex sporting mirrored sunglasses and machine gun arms on your thigh — not that there is anything wrong with that. But maybe if you were sober, you would have chosen a more logical place for said tat, like your right bicep. Trust me on this.
For those not familiar, Axe Cop is the result of the collaboration of Brothers Nicolle, Ethan and Malachai. Malachai writes and Ethan draws. Not all that unusual for a sibling collaboration, but did I mention that Malachai was six years old when he started writing Axe Cop?
That is one of the main reasons Axe Cop works. The writer is not restrained by decades of rules about what does and does not make a good comic. Malachai follows the original golden rule of writing: Write what you want to read. Write what entertains you. Crazy notion, but it works.
Volume two is different from the original Axe Cop series. The original consists of smaller story arcs, capable of being written and paid attention to by a young child. Volume two is a seventy-five page epic. Quite a challenge for even the most skilled of comic writers, let alone one who can only use safety scissors.
But he pulls it off. Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth is an epic tale of Axe Cop versus the Bad Guys. The Bad Guys are trying to turn everyone into a bad guy. Axe Cop is only one man with one axe. He can only handle so many bad guys. Will he be able to handle an entire earth full of bad guys?
As the good River Song says, spoilers, sweetie. But let me say, even if you aren’t familiar with the Axe Cop series, it is worth heading down to your friendly neighborhood comic book store to pick up a copy of Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth. You’ll thank me later.
But back to the volume.
My favorite part of this comic happens once the comic ends. The comic itself is about 75 pages, but this volume is over 121. The rest is dedicated to showing the reader how the magic happens. This includes a detailed map of Axe Cop’s universe, and real time photographs of what inspires the various characters in Axe Cop. I’m a big fan of artist sketchbooks, especially ones that show the raw process. From quick sketches, notes written by [artist name] and his six-year-old brother Malachai, this behind-the-scenes look could not get any rawer.
Also, included are drawings and back story for characters that didn’t make it into Axe Cop (yet). Most of them are cut due to time, not fitting into the story line, or being considered a dumb idea by Malachai. Granted I don’t have the writing prowess of this six-year-old, but I know what I like. And I really hope that Mr. Chicken Chicken Slice, a character capable of shooting whole chickens from his brain, makes it into a story someday.
The Nicolle brothers have done it again. An imaginative, captivating comic sure to delight and enthrall readers from age four to one-hundred-and forty-four.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars