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Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth Part 3: Advance Review

Axe Cop chops his way to the climactic conclusion of the Bad Guy Earth trilogy this month. I won't spoil what happens in this advance review, but suffice it to say: It's so good that it'll chop off your head with awesomeness!

Issue two left Axe Cop, and his band of heroes in the year 0,000,0.  A distant time when humans and dinosaurs didn't exist, but animals could talk.  And much talking does ensue.  Here the story begins to come together as the many plot threads are woven together, explaining the origins of the evil psychic planet, and the motivation of the psychic brothers for turning Earth into Bad Guy Earth.

The bizarre, silly and nonsensical plot described above sprang from the mind of child, and has been drawn exactly as described by his older brother.  This is why Axe Cop fights a monster who shoots lava from his feet and has Machine-gun ears.  Other bits of relentless absurdism abound on every page, including a scene in which a woman rides "A gorilla riding a lion", a panel that shows Axe Cop using an invisible walkie-talkie, and dialog expressing the earnest belief that if you eat the President’s brain you’ll be the new President.

Despite all of this hyper-active child logic, the story still manages to hold together.  It's paced well, accelerating at exponential speeds, but always moving faster, with Axe Cop’s team fighting progressively more challenging battles. There are lightning-fast plot twists that culminate in one final mind-blowing paradigm shift for the ultimate battle, and Axe Cop delivers his catchphrase at just the right moment.  “I’m gonna chop your head off”, indeed. 

After many climaxes and epilogs, this three-part mini-series ends with a very satisfying conclusion that should leave fans laughing right up to the heart-wrenching denouement.   It even bookends itself with references to plot elements in the first issue.  It’s surprising how such a non-sequitural story can also be so cohesive.

Anyone who read the first two issues should definitely pick up issue 3 to see how it all turns out.  If you missed the previous two issues, it’s worth the effort to track them down.

The art by Ethan Nicolle which depicts this crazy story maintains a cartoony quality that suits the humorous intent of the project, but also portrays these events as heroic adventure.  There’s a two-page spread in the middle of the book that shows one of the grand battle sequences, and it manages to be both ridiculous and exciting at the same time.
In my review of issue 2, I had pointed out that Axe Cop can lose its edge when read in large quantities, and might be best enjoyed in the small doses of its web-comic origins.  However in this issue, knowing that the big climax is just pages away, it is a lot easier to read through a 27 page story in one large chunk.  The three issue miniseries works very well for Axe Cop; it gives the writer the chance to tell a relatively epic story, but readers won’t find themselves burned out before the fun stops.

Axe Cop fans might worry that young writer Malachi Nicolle might run out of ideas eventually, but this storyline shows that his kid-sized head is crammed full of enough ideas to produce plenty more cases for Axe Cop and pals to solve, whether they be short online comics, or more print work like the Bad Guy Earth trilogy. 

Overall Score – 8.6/10 



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