Creating a successful, original mini-series requires so many things to go right: a catchy premise, good art and good writing to name just a few. In other words, the risks are high.
When everything does come together though, that means something special is happening; a story and series that will likely be remembered for quite some time. I loved the first issue of The End Times of Bram & Ben, but can it keep that momentum going with issue #2?
End Times of Bram & Ben #2 (of 4) (Image Comics)
Anyone who is coming in anew should refer to my review of the first issue, but for those slackers who can’t click the link it’s simple enough to recap where we’re at.
The Rapture has come and Bram was accidentally sent to Heaven, but sent back to Earth when the error was discovered. Ben is Bram’s roommate and all around good guy who is shocked he didn’t get to go to Heaven. The last issue ended with Bram declaring himself the anti-christ.
Sadly the news items, while hilarious, are actually plausible in the real world.
A new character is introduced this issue who was lurking behind the scenes in the last. It’s a demon who wants to help Bram get what he wants. It seems the politics of Heaven and Hell get quite boring and a changeup is needed. At least according to him.
Hell: Torturing Dicks Off Since Creation
Thankfully writers James Asmus and Jim Festante know that a plot needs to move forward or things will get stagnant. This issue doesn’t waste its time spinning its wheels with the characters ruminating on things, but rather introduces a legit demon and angel to heighten the lunacy things have come to now that the Rapture has been started. This allows humor from different points, namely angels and demons in all their imperfection to duke it out.
Wow low blow angel dude. Shouldn’t angels fight fair?
Reading this issue I couldn’t help but think of the incredibly hilarious and entertaining book Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. There’s certainly more dirty humor in this comic than Good Omens but it tackles Heaven and Hell in a similar way. Essentially these forces are immature and selfish when you’d expect them to be anything but. To think these forces could have so much power but be just as infantile as human beings is a hilarious notion and one that Asmus and Festante nail.
This angel continues to creep me out.
One of the strongest moments takes place when Ben’s angel friend takes him on a rollercoaster ride through hell. The tortures of Hell are based on your deepest fears and some of the fears on display are downright laugh out loud hilarious.
The art by Rem Broo continues to do a great job keeping the panels fluid and interesting. This issue has a particularly large amount of dialogue, but it never bogs down the art. Instead the art enhances things and keeps things moving.
Fun for the kids!
Final Score: 9
- Funny stuff through and through
- The plot thickens and I want more!
- Why aren’t there more comics about Heaven and Hell?
If you don’t do yourself a favor and pickup the first issue of this series you’re missing out. In many cases the second issue of any series falls flat because it spends so much time setting up what is to come. Not so here. Dig this ride as it’s fresh and entertaining.
Is It Good?
Yes. Come for the humor, stay for the art and story.