Ernie Fairchild killed 665 people. How he did this is surprisingly realistic but horror hounds expecting a blood fest of 665 people will be disappointed. But while their deaths are never seen, only mentioned, fear not - there is much satisfying blood to be spilled in Evil Ernie #1 and a great origin story that promises fun if you're into gore galore.
Ernie's been a bad boy. After killing 665 people and attempting to murder his 666th, he is captured and eventually sentenced to death. However, he's made a deal with the devil, who refuses to let him die without his quota of 666 souls being filled.
I have not read any Evil Ernie stories before, but this is a great place to start if you're interested in the concept. Evil Ernie was originally a character published by Chaos! during the 90s'. The new origin story, written by Jesse Blaze Snider, keeps you transfixed from page one. But right away, the opening crosses boundaries that a lot of people may not be comfortable with, including a baby coming out of his mother during a car crash. On top of that, there is cursing and religious references that will have people rightfully shying away from the title since it can upset many a sensibility. But gruesome moments like these are not few or far between but each moment is impactful on the plot, like the awesome showdown between Ernie and his father, so Evil Ernie is not an unnecessary gore fest. Death has meaning... for Ernie, at least.
There are jumps in time that make this Issue feel like it's going by fast, from Ernie's birth to his killing spree and then to his execution. This issue is Ernie's abridged life story only highlighting the most grotesque parts. While I hope in future issues they have flashbacks to Ernie's life among the living, like peer pressures and the pact he's made with the devil, skimming over Ernie's life in this issue was a good choice to get the reader right into the action. The story is close to self-contained, so you can choose to end it here if you just want to get an origin, but there is also enough mystery thrown into the issue that will make you want to come back for more.
The artwork is a mixed bag. Sometimes the bloodshed looks too cartoony and ruins the feel of the horror. Not every panel has as much details as the next. Evil Ernie's changed design also leaves much to be desired. I have seen pictures of his original design on the covers of this very comic. I'd like to see that design and not the fleshy meat-bag he is in the issue and the third wrap-around cover. But there are a lot of great key moments that artist Jason Craig creates like Ernie's demented father's face and a nice possibly unintentional homage moment to the smiley face button from Watchmen.
This is a great title to come out around Halloween. Ernie Fairchild is a regular Michael Myers with moments harkening back to the Rob Zombie Halloween remake, but with a supernatural twist. If you've never read Evil Ernie, this is a great issue to start reading. For old fans of the character, I think they'll enjoy it and hopefully won't be too put off by the changed origin story. I look forward to seeing the carnage Ernie is going to cause next issue, as well as the addition of an unlikely sidekick also from the older Evil Ernie. And even if the rest of the series flops, this is still a suitable origin story that may have you going back to the 90s' comics like me.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.