Metalocalypse/Dethklok #2 Review

For those that are unfamiliar with the Adult Swim show, Metalocalypse follows the misadventures of the world’s most successful Heavy Metal band: Dethklok. Dethklok is so popular that they can inadvertently cause a worldwide recession and a spike in suicide rates with something as simple as delaying an album release. During the course of any given episode the band, who is completely out of touch with reality, usually stumbles into some terrible situation which typically leads to the grisly death of their innocent fans. The show is a gory and tongue-in-cheek look at the world of Heavy Metal. That being said, the comic doesn’t stray far from the content of the show.

In the second issue of Dark Horse’s Metalocalypse/Dethklok, we find the boys having nightmares as they prepare for their return to Finland for the first time since they accidentally awoke the giant lake troll Mustakrakish. Of course, the arrival of Dethklok is just the harbinger of doom for their poor Finnish fans, and the band incompetently stumble their way through yet another deadly supernatural fiasco.

The story for this issue does feel slightly like a rejected idea for the show. While it doesn’t seem to have a strong enough premise for the show, it does have the decidedly Metalocalypse feel which is surely due to the involvement of the show’s co-creator Brendon Small and director Jon Schnepp.

Jeremy Barlow, who provides the script for the issue, does a great job writing dialog that seems authentic for the characters. I think Barlow deserves huge credit for his ability to write Skwisgaar Skwigelf and Toki Wartooth’s broken English, which might actually be even funnier when written out on the page. Overall, the story isn’t ground breaking for the Metalocalypse franchise, but is entertaining and should be appreciated by fans of the show.

The art, which was penciled by Lucas Marangon, is really strong. It is close enough to the original show design to let people know what they’re looking at, but is unique enough that people won’t mistake it for screen grabs from the cartoon. Perhaps the only thing I would complain about in the artwork is that it’s generally too bright. I personally would like to see the colors and shading darker, because then it would be more metal and totally brutal. In the end the artwork is solid, consistent and serves the comic well.

Possibly the the largest factor that works against the comic is the lack of the show’s amazing music. The music and its performance is always a large set-piece for the show, so when the comic simply prints lyrics and then some sort of visual representation of music, it really jumps out at you that comic books might not be the best choice of medium for Metalocalypse. Though every time I see a curse word censored out, I do hear the show’s trademark guitar noise which amuses me to no end.

In the end, Metalocalypse/Dethklok #2 is a suitable effort for the series and entertaining. The show’s trademark dark humor, likable characters and surreal content remains intact. Metalocalypse fans will likely love it, but I don’t believe it will convert many of the uninitiated.

[xrr rating=4/5]

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