Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Axe Cop

Axe Cop: Volume 1
By Malachai Niccole, illustrated by Ethan Niccole
Published 2011 by Dark Horse Comics

File this one under “books I never would have discovered if they hadn’t been thrust upon me by coworkers.” I think it was literally my first day at my new job and my coworker was telling me about how he serves on the Maverick committee (TLA committee for graphic novels). He then tells me that I should check out this one and the premise instantly grabbed me: comics written by a kid and illustrated by his older brother. Okay, I’m game.

This is basically exactly what it sounds like. Malachai was five years old when the brother team started this venture, so you can only imagine how the storylines develop. Apparently, this was initially a webcomic and then became insanely popular. This whole volume is so flat-out absurd that I absolutely could not put it down. What crazy thing would come next? I mean, this is about a superhero named Axe Cop, who uses his axe to kill bad guys. And he works mostly at night because that’s when the bad guys are sleeping, so it’s easier to kill them then. The series just gets crazier and crazier – other superheroes join Axe Cop’s cause but then they sometimes turn out to be evil. But then sometimes we think they’re evil but they’re really good guys pretending to be bad guys pretending to be good guys. You see how this works? This whole book is basically that times 1000. There are dinosaurs and aliens and unicorn people and ninja werewolf crab warriors from the moon. I was laughing so much while reading; I probably looked like a crazy lady. The artwork is nothing to sneeze at, though, and shouldn’t be ignored. Niccole is clearly talented and has used this crazy idea to make a name for himself (there is actually a little bit in the book about how people have accused him of exploiting his brother and profiting unfairly from him but Ethan explains that if Malachai doesn’t feel like playing, Axe Cop doesn’t get written, and also, he shares the profits with him). This was a delightful find that is just the right amount of totally crazy. I would definitely recommend this.

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