Evil Ernie #4
Written by Jesse Snider
Art by Jason Craig
Colors by Maxflan Araujo
Letters by Troy Peteri
Covers by Ardian Syaf, Dan Brereton, Kyle Hotz, Stephen Segovia
Release Date: February 13, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
Evil Ernie is shaping up to be more than just a splatterhouse comic. Oh, don’t worry, there’s plenty of delicious limb cleaving and ball eating. Yes, ball eating. This series is sick. But, Evil Ernie is displaying much more character development and meticulous plotting than you’d ever expect from the comic subgenre of gratuitous violence.
In the last issue, Ernie ran into Uriel the archangel who told him that his true destiny was to lead Heaven’s war against Hell. Uriel was right in the middle of trying to save Ernie’s soul when Smiley revealed himself as a demonic, facehugging parasite and stabbed him in the head. Evil Ernie #4 was all teed up for a huge showdown between Smiley and Ernie. However, after a little sitdown, Ernie shelves his moral crises and instead focuses on his missing arm and surviving the chaos unleashed at the Widmark maximum security prison.
His foster father, Buford, finds a way to attach Ernie’s severed arm to his boiled off stump. Arms in Evil Ernie are hacked off as often as hands in Star Wars. Buford is turning into quite the nemesis. I fully expected Ernie to go medieval on his ass like two issues ago, but Buford’s the type of villain that frustrates readers because they’re so eager to see him meet a grisly death. He’s a slippery son of a bitch who is constantly hurling obstacles in Ernie’s path. Unfortunately for Ernie, Buford acquires a new power and drops a hint that he’s rather knowledgeable in the arcane arts.
In each issue, Jesse Snider ramps up the tension at a furious pace and ends the comic on a huge cliffhanger. The next issue, however, always diffuses the situation almost too quickly. It’s still intriguing to see how Snider writes his way out of it. Evil Ernie #4 is no exception, with the angels making a triumphant return only to face an unforeseen power. I fall into this trap every month like Charlie Brown whiffing on Lucy’s football.
Artist Jason Craig highlights every muscle strand and tendon with loving detail. His attention to violence is a contrast to his much more conventional character art. The action scenes have improved over the course of these four issues. One of my main critiques was that the action was difficult to follow and interrupted the flow of the story. Some panels still require a little study, but if you’re an Evil Ernie fan, you’d stop to soak in the gore anyway.
Evil Ernie is a page-turner that I eagerly dig into every month. Will this be the issue where Ernie finally gets his hands on Buford and rips him some new orifices? Between a brewing moral conflict between Smiley and Ernie and a potentially epic supernatural battle between archangels and demons, this series is turning into something special.