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.

Big time.

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.


Dr. Pants said...

My favorite Boob War joke came in Robert Kirkman's "Cops" meets heroes book, "Capes."

There's some boxing superheroine who wears giant falsies because a) it distracts criminals and b) she's more popular with giant breasts.

And that's a lesson to all of you. Like Jesus said, we'd like you better with bigger titties.

Mark W. Hale said...

I once read the first Lady Death series. I'm not proud of it, but a friend of mine loaaned me the tpb. I don't recall it being ridiculously awful or anything, just kind of not-that-good. But I was like 16, so who knows.

David Campbell said...

I have a hard time full-on dissing Lady Death, because really, it's accomplishing exactly what it sets out to do. You have to sort of judge it on its own terms.

Plus, you know - boobs.

Philip said...

I have to admit that there was a time when Lady Death was on my subscription list. Every time I picked up an issue, I explained to the clerk, "The only reason I'm buying this is because it's written by John Ostrander."

Batiduende said...

I have a hard time full-on dissing Lady Death, because really, it's accomplishing exactly what it sets out to do.

Well... so did Charles Manson.

Kevin Church said...

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Anonymous said...

Ha! I don't have any of these comics. I only buy critically-acclaimed comics with artistic merit. So I--

Okay, so I do have the entire Bloodstone limited series. So what? I was 17 at the time! And the Frankenstien's Monster was one of her sidekicks! How cool is that? But other than that--

Okay, so I do have a ton of CrossGen comics, including most of Sojourn and Mystic. But that was also from my adolescence, I know better now--

Alright, fine, I did buy the first few issues of the current Red Sonja series. And I am enjoying it. I'm a Robert E. Howard fan, OK? And it's co-written by Mike Carey, who's a real writer. Neil Gaiman likes him! And Issue 2 has a cover drawn by Art Adams. Art Adams! And it has a backup story by Peter David! And--

Fine, fine, you win. But at least I didn't buy the Michael Turner variant cover. I don't understand the appeal of his art at all--his women look like crack whores. If I'm going to buy blatant T&A comics, I at least want to buy comparatively well-drawn blatant T&A comics.

Anonymous said...

Michael Turner's particular brand of "cheesecake" never fails to amaze me. Not because it's good, but because I look at characters like his "elongated" Supergirl (who is SUPPOSED to be hot, unless I'm mistaken) and she isn't even vaguely attractive. Like Adrian pointed out, she looks like a bulimic crack whore. Shouldn't a cheesecake "good girl" AT LEAST be actually atractive?!?

Chris Arndt said...

Michael Turner's Supergirl cannot be hot; she's only fourteen or so.

Paedophiles. Pervs. Freaks. sickies

What's this word identification thing? This isn't what I ordered? I'm no longer posting becuase I am lazy! Right.

oh and if it's supposed to keep spam out, how did we get that comment promoting breast surgery?

Anonymous said...

Michael Turner's Supergirl cannot be hot; she's only fourteen or so.

Is she? Then not only she isn't hot, but she doesn't look her age either.

Kevin Church said...

oh and if it's supposed to keep spam out, how did we get that comment promoting breast surgery?

Irony, meet Chris. You two are going to be totally awesome buddies now.

Shon Richards said...

Am I misreading it or is Lady Death taking a bath with a teddy on? That's Extreme.

Anonymous said...

That's totally Airwolf

Kevin Church said...

Is it, in fact, extreme Airwolf?!?

Marionette said...

Your bullets cannot harm me because my boobs are like a shield of steel!

Anonymous said...

does anyone else get *word verification* messages like "iloveyou", "cutherup", "filthybug" ?

Man, it is creeping me out. Not only inconvenient for the adorable spammer visitors, but also an evil plot?

Chris, we have to do something.

Chris Arndt said...

I hate irony.

Irony already trashed my car, damaged my grades in school, and turned some females against me.

On the other hand it has also pushed some women closer to me.

Irony is a double-edged sword.

Irony is a dagger in my heart! A dagger in my heart!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention how much I long the return of the various spam I have seen here.

I hereby declare that in the future I shall simulate the spamming experience by adding faux spam messages underneath my own.

By the way, this time the word I verified is 'natas' (with the inverted commas). Down with the anti-spam measures.

Greg said...

I love Faust. I know it has nothing to do with Lady Death, but when it gets dissed in the comments, I must rise up and defend it!

Anonymous said...

How can *I* get in on the Boob War action?

See, I'm the writer/creator of a comic called LORELEI, and although I'm all about the writing and characterization of my creations, I'd be the first to admit my redheaded succubus has a certain... boobish charm. ;-)

See for yourself: www.starwarpconcepts.com.

You've been warned (and encouraged)!

DougBot said...

What would Jan-Michael Vincent do?

It's probably too late to try and work him and Earnest Borgnine into an episode of ER, where they could bug Sherri Stringfield.

B2 said...

wow. i gotta come here more often!

Anonymous said...

The "Capes" joke reminds me of a panel in The Flash in which Wally's then-girlfriend Linda Park remarked, "I may not have the cleavage to be a sword-swinging super-heroine, but I've found quite a niche as an investigative reporter."

Martin Wisse said...


I already Knew Better by the time Lady Death came out, as I had bought and enjoyed such highly ...stimulating comics like Flare, or the Innovation Lost in Space cheesecake issue.

And boob Wars week is not complete without a mention of AC Comics, which did very well out of FemForce.

Anonymous said...

Lost in Space cheesecake? That's kind of... odd. Did it show the Robot's naughty bits?

Martin Wisse said...

Cheese cake like this.

That's Joe Jusko art, that is.

thekelvingreen said...

Man alive, I go away for a week, and the standards drop.

I mean, how come not a single one of you has made an inappropriate bukkake and/or Bill Clinton/blue dress joke about this panel? Look at it! "Soaking in a long hot bath"? A bath of what exactly, Miss Death?


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