Tuesday, March 20, 2007

BADROCK #1 Image Comics, 1995

I am not one of those people that enjoys slandering comic book creators that I’ve never met.
That doesn’t mean I won’t; I just won’t enjoy it.

Ha! I kid.
Seriously, though: how worked up can I be expected to get if somebody makes a shitty comic? I’ve never understood the vitriol that some “fans” have for cats like Chuck Austen or Rob Liefield or Mark Millar. So they didn’t write or draw a comic book character in accordance with your fundamentalist notion of how that character should be portrayed. Is that a good reason to hate somebody?

Take Paul Jenkins, for example. Now, I really hated Civil War: Frontline #11, which Jenkins wrote. Hated it. I don’t think I’m alone. But Jesus, it’s not like Paul Jenkins killed my uncle or anything. I’ve enjoyed his writing (Jenkins, not my uncle) in the past and will likely enjoy his writing again in the future, but I didn’t enjoy one book he wrote. BFD. It’s nothing personal.

However, if I were so inclined, I would mercilessly take the piss out of Civil War: Frontline #11 online with no guilt because I’m mocking the product, not the producer. If you put your shit out there and people buy it, they've bought the right to have an opinion.

Which brings us to Badrock #1, by Rob Liefeld, the enfant terrible of the comic industry. I got nothing against Rob, but man --
-- this comic sucks all kinds of ass.

This is one of those comics from the go-go Nineties that is full of sound and fury that signifies nada. It’s full of HUGE panels and glib banter that reveals very little about the plot or the characters. In place of a plot, Badrock #1 just has a series of sequences where our heroes are attacked by homoerotic bad guys. The comic confuses character appearances with plot points.

Here’s the story: Badrock and his thong + eyepatch wearing comrade Gunner Solo rescue Badrock’s father from the Chicago super-mobster Overlord and his gang of freaks the Vicious Circle. We aren’t told in this issue why Overlord captures Badrock’s dad. I can’t tell if this piece of information is withheld from the reader by design or accident. I’m guessing the latter.

Badrock (who is like a cross between Captain Marvel and the Thing) and company try to elude/kill their hunters in the mean streets of the Windy City, taking on villains such as Lowblow (short), Girth (fat), Cutthroat (eyepatch, stabby), and Hellrazor (ponytail, stabby). Throw in an awkwardly set-up flashback sequence and a cameo by Savage Dragon, and you gots yourself a standard mid-Nineties Image comic.

The art in this book is insane.

Unmotivated lighting, hideously deformed physiques, overly rendered characters, and an abundance of gooey strands of saliva make this book a visual feast - for crows.
Take a look at this panel:
Badrock has got some major Saliva Strand Syndrome going on there. It's like a hideous oral cargo net of mucous and bacteria and spit. Yuck. Damn near everyone in this book has tendrils of ropey saliva dripping from their mouths - it's so prevalent that it looks out of place when characters don't have spit webs. It goes beyond "stylistic choice" and strays into "fetish."
I may be reading too much into this, but Badrock #1 has an undercurrent of homoeroticism flowing so deep that I wonder if the creators were even aware of it. All the bad guys are these S&M looking guys with lovingly rendered chest hair and a tendency to talk about asses. Now I could be wrong, but after the third time somebody mentions how badly they want Badrock's ass, it makes you go, "Hmm..."
Here's the furry little bear Lowblow neck-humping our man Badrock:
That Lowblow is like a cross between Wolverine, Puck, and porn star Jeff Stryker.* And come on - dude's name is Lowblow? What's his last name, Ballsucka?
Here's another questionable panel where Badrock is grabbing one of Girth's man-boobs:
Man, and I didn't even scan pictures of Hellrazor (who should have been called Codpiece) and Cutthroat (who should have been called Gay Dungeon Master).
For some reason, I never did pick up Badrock #2 (if it came out at all) so I've wondered all these years what Overlord wanted with Badrock's dad. I like bad comics as much as the next guy, but even I have limits.
I'm going to dust off the ol' Dave's Long Box The Pain Award and present it to Badrock #1 - truly deserving.
Rob, bro - I got nothing against you, but this comic was just no damn good.
*Ha! Did I get you to look at the Jeff Stryker Wiki? Explain that to your boss!


Anonymous said...

i dunno, from where i'm sitting logan . . . er, i mean lowblow looks like a cross between wolverine, wolverine and wolverine.

if they're going to rip off such a distinctive (read: implausible) look, they could at least camouflage it a teensy little bit. sheesh.

FoldedSoup said...

Yay! The Pain!

...I mean.. Uggg.. The PAIN!!

(Seriously, someone photoshop a spider in Badrock's mouth. Wow.)

Anonymous said...

I think most of those bad guys are Erik Larsen creations fro Savage Dragon, though I may be wrong.

Bill S. said...

i misread Lowblow as "Lowbrow", which would have been more clever, in addition to being wholly appropriate.

Mikey said...

Woah. Back up. You didn't like this comic?

Why the cover alone is worth the price of admission: You have a gigantic video-game homunculus that's maybe 14 feet tall, with a gun the size of a sewer pipe that apparently fires shells the size of a pedal-bin - AND a chick who needs to armour her legs but isn't afeared of a few bullets in the buttocks!

Dave. This thing is comedy gold. This cover knocks Howard the Duck clear out of the park.

I demand a recount!

Anonymous said...

Now I'm all for hot comic book chicks as much as the next guy, but "Gunner Solo"? Was "Loner McRebel" taken? How about "Badass Mercenary III"?

By the way... Billy idol called. He wants his hair back.

Anonymous said...

Rob Liefield is the crappiest thing to happen to comics in the last 40 years , uncreative , terribly drawn loser characters with shoulder pads , and pouches .

Just because you create a ton of characters doesnt mean your a comic "great". Having any of them be origenal and interesting does...Sorry Rob you didn't bring your "A" game if you even have one at all.....

Anonymous said...

Bad art deserves no mercy, and the perpetrators of bad art should be held accountable for their crimes. That isn't the same as having anything against them as people, it's a matter of condemning the atrocities they commit. And brother, "Badrock" is an atrocity.

Dave Longbox, I absolve you. Go, and snark some more.

Thats a great idea guy said...

Dave Longbox I love you too.

Just not in a Jeff Stryker Wiki kind of way.

SallyP said...

Ah, the '90's. It's like waking up after a REALLY bad party, and wondering whatever could have possessed you to drink that much...or in this case, draw like that.

Excuse me, I have to go and rinse my eyes out with acid now.

Anonymous said...

Dave: anonymous is right. Hellrazor is definitely one of Larsen's creations. I know this because I own entirely too many Savage Dragon comics from back in the day. If you ever feel like reviewing some of it, get in touch. I hook you up.

Woody! said...

I hate to think of how many of these mid-90s Image comics I own. Somehow, I feel like it makes me less of a comic fan.

Anonymous said...

The only thing this review needed was a picture of Dave tossing Badrock #1 onto a bonfire.

Gayest Neil said...

This comic sounds fabulous!

Anonymous said...

"-- this comic sucks all kinds of ass."

I assume you are referring to the generously proportioned backside of the thong-tastic dame on the cover of the comic.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and wasn't he originally called "Bedrock" but Hanna-Barbera threatened to sue so they changed him to "Badrock."

Incidentally, bad rock is my favorite kind of music. And I doubt HB would have had a legal leg to stand on since "bedrock" is actually a word that doesn't mean "town where Fred Flintstone lives."

Jason said...

Wasn't Badrock in actuality, like a 12 year old kid (ie. the Captain Marvel connection)? Doesn't that make all these fetishists/villains "wanting his ass" even creepier? I think I had this and it got destoyed in a basement flood last summer. Thank God for that.

Anonymous said...

I think Anonymous is correct that all of the villains are Erik Larsen creations. Perhaps Larsen should share credit for The Pain award.

Lowblow looks like a ripoff of Liefeld's own creation Troll.

God, I should probably be forced to sit in a bathtub and be handed a toaster for remembering Troll. Sadly, my first and apparently last comment on the Long Box. *bzzzzt!*

Anonymous said...

To be fair, that wasn't saliva clogging up Gunner Solo's mouth. Just sayin'.

I don't hate the guy, but I had no use for Liefeld after that Levi's commercial where he took credit for creating X-Force. First of all, that's not the kind of thing that most people would take pride in, and second, most of those characters were created by other people. Not cool, Rob.

Anonymous said...

"Dave: anonymous is right. Hellrazor is definitely one of Larsen's creations. I know this because I own entirely too many Savage Dragon comics from back in the day. If you ever feel like reviewing some of it, get in touch. I hook you up."

Hey, Savage Dragon is great...one of the *very* few early Image comics that still holds up in anything other than an ironic way.

As for attacking Leifeld personally...well, if he was just some obscure guy who didn't know how to draw, then yeah...there'd be no call for it. But this is a guy who's made millions of dollars, has a huge ego and has a long history of acting like a dick who can't draw.

Comicvine said...

Awesome write up! I'm dying over here. Lowblow "ballsucka" was priceless. :)

JonHendry said...

Coming Soon from Liefeld and Image:

The amazing adventures of the microscopic SALIVANAUTS.

You think Badrock's a hardass? Wait until you meet his gingivitis. You'll believe a bacterium can use a gun.

Anonymous said...

Ok so i never met Robby boy so to attack him personally may be inappropriate. But being an artist myself i'd like to think that part of your personality shows though in your art. and if thats true Rob Liefeld just plain old sucks at life. I don't think i've seen one drawing of his that makes me say "hey hes certainly much better than me and deserves all the money he's made"

I'm not naive, i know my art isn't anywhere near the caliber of the Jim Lee's and the Marc Silvestri's but holy shit if i'm not better than Robby here i should just kill myself.

And the only thing worse than his art is the fact that he still gets work. Hes doing something for Marvel now, Onlsaught reborn or something like that. The comic isn't very good, but i bet marvel is paying through the nose for him to do the art.


Sorry for the rant.
P.S. if anyone wants to confirm or deny my delusions of grandeurs you can check out my art at www.shawnmccauley.com

Hale of Angelthorne said...

"Rob Liefield is the crappiest thing to happen to comics in the last 40 years , uncreative , terribly drawn loser characters with shoulder pads , and pouches ."

I remember Liefield in a Levi's commercial sometime in the mid-90's. They ask him if he's had any "formal training in art" and he replies "no." And people wondered why I would always scream NO SHIT!! at the tv screen...

Anonymous said...

Yes, THE PAIN is BACK, baby!

You know, Comics back then? NOT VERY GOOD. Comics today? SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER.

Anonymous said...



That's... that's just horrendous.

And as for the "Capt. Marvel / Thing" riff... even THAT was already done before...

MONOLITH from Bill Willingham's ELEMENTALS (from early 1980's ComiCo).

EVERYTHING Leifeld does has been done before...and BETTER...by someone else.



Anonymous said...

In that one close-up of Badrock's face, it almost looks like his saliva is trying to spell something out...

MGD said...

I'm totally buying a copy now.

That's the Spirit said...

If you like this comic, you deserve to die a virgin.

Anonymous said...

1. That man has no neck!

2. What the hell happened to her spine?!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Absolutely hilarious. I agree with red lamp - that line was fantastic. Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

That was my first good belly laugh in a while..Dave delivers!

Austen said...

The author is absolutely right, and there is no question.
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