Image Comics has released a new original series nearly every month in 2012 and they don’t seem to be slowing down in ’13, as original series keep popping up from their Brand. The amount of creativity coming out of the publisher is amazing, but if you consider most of these series are standalone, four-to-five issue stories that don’t rely on a universe of characters, it’s not so hard to believe. Especially when they scoop them up after successful Kickstarter campaigns. Their newest series, The End Times of Bram and Ben promises a premise you haven’t seen before with some wild art, but is it good?
The End Times of Bram & Ben #1 (of 4) (Image Comics)
Imagine millions of people suddenly disappeared without a trace or an explanation. Aside from the fallout that would occur in the first hour or so the world would continue to run best it could and most everyone wouldn’t have a clue what happened. Except for you however, because your friend blipped out, but came right back. It seems Heaven made a mistake and took him by accident. You have proof the Rapture is real. What do you do? How do you live with yourself knowing you weren’t picked? For that matter, does that mean Hell will rise? These are a few of the questions the characters discuss in this first issue and while it may sound extremely serious and thought provoking, it’s the comedic timing and hilarious dialogue that really drives the story.
Note: nobody in Turkey is going to Heaven. Offensive?
Co-writer and creator James Asmus does a bang up job with the pacing of this issue and while some stories might trip up on exposition and setup, this issue instead gets past that to deliver a rather enjoyable read. Part of the reason for this is the interesting premise of the book. How would the world keep going? With confirmation of the Rapture taking place, would you be able to live with yourself? Interesting questions arise from the premise alone, but instead of focusing on those things, Asmus instead keeps the dialogue and character development light.
And that’s why you didn’t get to go to Heaven.
He has a point.
The thought may not come to you instantly (and if not, good on you. You’re not a shameless horndog), but if the Rapture takes place who’s going to be left but sluts, right? That’s a fact Bram comes up with and generally speaking it makes sense his character would think in such a way. Bram however is a good person and can’t understand why he’d be left on Earth. It’s a good dynamic that will assuredly be the focal point of the plot moving forward.
We could all use a reach around from a friend. Oh…wait…
Penciled by newcomer Rem Broo, you can’t help but love his style in the book. The pencils have a lively manner that helps imbue a sense of comedy in the cartoony nature of the book, but maintains a serious quality as well. In most cases it’s his ability to draw expressions in a bombastic way that really hammers home the duality of this book.
The whole “Hell rising up” thing would freak me out.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had the discussion of what I’d do when faced with the apocalypse. It seems to be something many of my friends find interest in as well, be it an escape from society or becoming one with the primal side of life. Our society as a whole is infatuated with the end of the world, probably because we think we’re headed towards something. Either way, it’s a great treat to see the topic toyed with in this series, and thankfully, it’s not with the use of zombies.
Robots would totally own us.
Final Score: 9
- Hilarious dialogue
- Fluid and interesting art
- More character development needed
Surprisingly this comic doesn’t read as if it were dealing with religion. You’d think having the Rapture as the main crisis would do that, and there seems to be a devil involved as well, but the comedic nature keeps things light enough so that the religious aspect isn’t preachy or annoying.
Chalk this up to Image Comics for allowing talented creators to do what they want in comics. This is yet another feather in the impressive, ever-growing Image Comics cap.
Is It Good?
Yes. When a subject so serious can be funny you know there’s something special going on.