Tuesday, August 30, 2005
LADY DEATH: JUDGEMENT WAR #1 Chaos Comics, 1991
Lady Death is an excellent example of a Boob War comic, although with a macabre twist. It doesn’t matter; Boob War transcends genres with its awesomeness.
I can’t be bothered to Google all this information, so here’s what I know about the Diva of Death just from memory. Created by heavy metal horrormeister Brian Pulido and published by his Chaos Comics, Lady Death first appeared back in the eighties in the pages of Evil Ernie comics as the feminine embodiment of death. The character Evil Ernie was a cross between creator Pulido and Iron Maiden’s adorable Eddie mascot, and he was all about killing people and being hardcore and stuff. His muse was Lady Death, an alluring, voluptuous woman in a black skull-motif bikini who would urge Evil Ernie on to greater levels of hardcoreness. Chaos Comics like Evil Ernie were basically heavy metal songs transmogrified into comic books, and Lady Death was the hot but evil babe from Motley Crue and Helix videos.
Pulido realized that he had a far more marketable character in Lady Death than in Evil Ernie, and soon he and artist Steven Hughes (sadly, deceased) created the first of many comics starring the violent vixen with the alabaster F-cups. Although Chaos Comics published other Boob War comics like Purgatori and Chastity, Lady Death was the cornerstone of their business.
Until they went bankrupt, that is.
This issue is written by Brian Pulido and Len Kaminski, with bodacious art by Ivan Reis and Joe Pimentel. It’s part one of the three-part Judgement War* mini-series-within-a-meta-series which pits Lady Death against Lucifer and his hordes of hell. A war between heaven and hell is playing out on earth, and mankind is bearing the brunt of it. Our anti-heroine opposes both heaven and hell with her undead army and her loyal servant Cremator.
Here’s a panel from the comic that I think really illustrates the appeal of Lady Death, and of Boob War comics in particular:
In case you can’t read that, she’s saying: “Ahhhhh… The only thing more exhilarating than wallowing in the blood and gore of the enemy is soaking in a long hot bath afterwards.” That’s it right there: sex/violence.
My biggest complaint about this comic is the coloring. I’m not going to name names, because that’s not what we’re all about here at the Long Box, but I will say that in my layman’s opinion, the coloring on this book sucks ass.
It’s as if the colorist for Lady Death: Judgement War just got Adobe Photoshop for Christmas and is overly enamored with all the filters. The book suffers badly from overworked colors and glowing effects that don’t just bury the inked artwork, they erect a gravestone and visit every Thursday with fresh flowers. That’s right, the coloring is so bad that I must resort to awkward metaphor to describe it.
Don’t take my word for it, take a look at this panel where Cremator (who comes in vanilla and mocha flavors) runs away from a big evil techno monster bursting from lava or something.
Can you even tell what’s going on in that panel?
Sorry about the seam down the middle of the picture, but this was a big two-page spread – which makes it even worse. This is supposed to be a big money shot, the one that makes all the headbangers reading this go: “Woah! Look out Cremator!” but instead, the reaction is “Wha-huh? Is that Cremator?”
Yes, that’s Cremator running from a big monster with a midget/dwarf in his hands. Big monster in the background. On the lower left you can just barely make out Skull Guy (I don’t think that’s his real name) and in the upper left hand corner, totally lost and overwhelmed by a hurricane of bad coloring, there is a blue sound effect that I believe says: “KRREGKIROAAR!” Would you have spotted that stuff if I hadn’t pointed it out? I say thee nay.
Anyway, the coloring is no damn good. This particular issue culminates in a showdown between Lady Death and Lucifer, which she has to don special bikini armor for. Since this is part one of three, she has to get defeated – by her own bikini!
As you might guess, at the end of this issue she gets captured by Lucifer, which leads to some bondage and whipping in the next issue. Or so they tell me. I’m not saying I got the next issue or anything. As a matter of fact, I didn’t really buy this comic, either. I, um, I found it. Yeah. I found it…
Okay, fine. Fine! I bought this comic, okay? And the next issue. I paid full price, too. I was lonely, okay? Lay off, man, I’ll bet you have a couple issues of Tarot or something in your collection.
Let he who is without Boob War cast the first stone.
*I'm spelling the word "judgment" the way Chaos Comics spells it: "judgement." Apparently it's an acceptable spelling of the word in the UK and among communists.