Evil Ernie in Santa Fe #1


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Evil Ernie in Santa Fe #1


  • Words: Alan Grant
  • Art: Tommy Castillo
  • Inks: Tommy Castillo
  • Colors: Carsten Bradley
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Oct 12, 2005

The Evil One travels to a new locale, questions his role in the world, and causes general mayhem in this new miniseries.

Evil Ernie Fairchild, an undead killer shaped by parental abuse and radical experiments, has returned. The winds of chance have brought him to Santa Fe and the home of a supernatural cultist whose group sacrifices innocent children. Hurting kids is something that appalls even one as depraved as Ernie. But as he contemplates what to do, he begins to wonder how much of his behavior is guided by his own free will and how much by outside forces.

As I mentioned in my earlier review of Purgatori #1, I’m not a fan of Chaos! Comics. That remains the case after reading the first issue of Evil Ernie in Santa Fe. A gratuitously violent anti-hero prone to graphic excesses, Ernie is not a character that holds much appeal for me. Granted, it’s not necessary to like the lead character of a story to find the read compelling. What is necessary, however, is to be given a reason to be interested.

For much of this issue, Ernie comes across as little more than a one-dimensional unstoppable killer. He has little motivation other than sheer perverse joy and seems to exist only to kill. There are moments in the story where we are almost given something more—Ernie’s childhood trauma has given him an aversion to kids being hurt; he questions for the first time if he has free will. But such things are only passing thoughts to the Evil One before he returns, childlike, to his destructive rampage. For those who enjoy slasher horror or the cathartic thrill of watching a character do horrible things, this would probably be an entertaining read. For me, this wasn’t the case. The comic succeeds in showing that Ernie is a sick puppy. I’m just left wondering why I should care.

What I did like about the comic was the artwork. Tommy Castillo fully embraces the grotesqueries of the Evil Ernie character and provides very dramatic and horrific imagery. He captures Ernie’s leering grin, cartoonish expressions, and metal band hair rather well. His rendering of the character gives the impression that there was a lost member of KISS who was killed, resurrected, and set on fire. Colorist Carsten Bradley elevates the images to something even more impressive with somber lighting and cinematic effects.

Evil Ernie in Santa Fe is a stunningly illustrated but ultimately empty reading experience for those not excited by gore and horror. Your mileage may vary of course if this is a genre that grabs you.

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