"Metalocalypse: Dethklok" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Brendon Small, Jon Schnepp, Jeremy Barlow & Eric Powell
Illustrated by Lucas Marangon & Eric Powell
2011, 112 Pages, $19.99
Trade Paperback released on June 21st, 2011
It's hard work being the biggest death metal band in the world. You have to deal with your adoring fans, manage your countless promotional items, and deal with the occasional demon. Such is the life of Dethklok, the stars of the hit Adult Swim show Metalocalypse. Besides being incredibly difficult to pronounce (I've never heard it said so I'm still not show sure how to read the title), the show has been translated into a comic released by Dark Horse and written by the same folks behind the cartoon. Full disclosure here, I've never seen a single episode of the show.
That being said, this book is incredibly easy to get into. There's no explanation or background given, but neither is needed here. The writers know their characters and they're able to jump in without giving you a pointless back story. Metalocalypse: Dethklok is a collection of one-shots with the band going on a variety of adventures. None of the stories carry into the next one so each issue is easily accessible.
Each of the stories are told with tongue in cheek. The characters are stereotypical badasses who are so metal that there's a secret organization tracking their whereabouts in an effort to stop them. As I said, I've never seen the show, but if the humor is anything like this comic, it's got to be pretty funny.
The final issue has Dethklok crossing over with fan favorite, The Goon. This is by far my favorite story in this collection. The Goon is a book I've heard a lot about, but never actually read. This gave me a sneak peek into that world and damn, is it a weird but fun one. Creator Eric Powell was on art and story duties and he captures the tone of Metalocalypse perfectly.
My only major problem with the book is the art. It's done in the same style as the show which, just like all Adult Swim shows lately, is very basic and without much imagination. It's flat. I didn't notice it as much throughout the main stories, but once Powell jumped in with his artwork for The Goon, it was hard not to compare the two. Powell handles just the artwork for his characters while everything else is drawn by the Metalocalypse series artist Lucas Marangon. This looks sloppy as you have two different art styles on the same page and often the same panel. It's distracting and it hurt that issue.
For someone that's never seen even one episode of Metalocalypse (damn, that is even annoying to type), I enjoyed this book. It made me want to check out the show, which I guess is its overall intention. This is over-the-top humor about a bunch of badass metal musicians who are only concerned with rocking out and kicking ass. If they have to fight train ghosts, ice apes, and Finnish trolls to do so, then so be it.
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