Evil Ernie is Reborn
Its no secret to anyone who knows me how huge a fan i was of Chaos comics back in the 90s, it was in fact Evil Ernie himself that got me first interested in western comics as before then i pretty much only read Manga. Ernie was something of a 90s comic, a product of the era, oversaturated with slasher movies, zombie flicks and video games like Mortal Kombat. When Dynamite announced they would bring Ernie back to us i was both excited and worried, excited to see my buddy back on the printed page after being gone for well over 10 years, but worried because i had no idea how an undead serial killer would read to todays audiance.
The first thing you will want to know if you are a long standing fan of Ernie is that this is not the exact same character from way back then, due to Lady Death being stripped out of his origin completely (she is owned by Avatar press now) writer, Jesse Blaze Snider had to think of a way to reimagine his death and rebirth as the undead fiend we all know and love. There is a feature on that very origin elsewhere on the Vine so i wont repeat it other than to say it works and it works well. Jason Craig's art looks like it was ripped straight from the 90s books which is something that will be important to any fans out there, Evil Ernie was always a very graphic book and was always filled with black, green and red which im happy to report has not changed. The varient covers are also a joy to behold, Tim Seeley and Joe Quesada have some great covers showing off some very early chaos/blackout-esq art where as Nick Bradshaw, Adrian Syaf (my personal favourite) and Dan Brereton present something closer to what you would have expected from Evil Ernie Monthly.
Despite giving it five stars there are a few conerns i have for the series, firstly they seem to be giving Ernie a dark anti-hero persona, something that is miles apart from the angry kid who wanted to turn Earth into a world full of dead ones. He also seems to have lost his telepathy which could cause problems later on and his foster father seems to go from nice guy to homacidal in seconds for no real reason. Why would i then give the book five stars? Well its an origin story and we only have the first part and from what ive read of Jesses interview he plans on revealing more of this later, i also feel im perhaps a little over protective of Ernie and honestly, the book is so well written its easy to forgive some minor plot holes right now.
So should you buy this comic? It kind of depends, i have a tonne of nostalgia for the character and as such it was a no brainer for me as im sure it will be for the majority of people who recognise the series. New readers dont have to worry about the previous comics but its at a point right now where its too early to tell if its going to be a hit or miss for those unfamiliar with Ernie. Since i can only judge the story on the book i have in front of me right now id recommend it to anyone who is a fan of horror comics or is just looking for something that dosent feature costumed heroes.