Evil Ernie in Santa Fe #3


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Evil Ernie in Santa Fe #3


  • Words: Alan Grant
  • Art: Tommy Castillo
  • Inks: Tommy Castillo
  • Colors: Carsten Bradley
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Dec 29, 2005

Just as Ernie hunts the members of a sadistic cult, both the daughter of an old rival and the Santa Fe police pursue The Evil One.

As anyone that ever has watched a horror movie knows, the police are no match for the monster. Needless to say, this trend holds true as Evil Ernie escapes the Santa Fe police leaving Layna Price to deal with the gruesome aftermath. As the conclusion of the series draws near, each of the major players move into place – Ernie and Smiley take their killing spree to the doorstep of Forge’s mansion, Layna uses her bond with Ernie to track the killer and Forge prepares his sacrifice to the demon Zabudel.

Evil Ernie in Santa Fe #3 tries to appeal to two different audiences, ultimately failing to deliver a satisfying story to either. The reader that picked this comic up in the hopes of an exciting slasher story will be disappointed to find the "same old, same old." There are literally thousands of stories in this genre, and the opportunities to find new and original ways for a killer to slay his victims are few and far between. Grant offers up several victims and gruesome deaths to Ernie, but none of them ever achieves a "wow" moment. Even the other staple of slasher stories – bad puns – reaches a new low (after sneaking aboard a delivery truck, Ernie announces his arrival to Korval with "Pucker up witchdoctor, you got a special delivery.").

Those hoping that this issue would flesh out more of Ernie’s motivation will also be sadly disappointed. Grant provides a few appealing teases as once again Evil Ernie muses on his place in the world without his beloved "Lady." A brief exchange between Ernie and Smiley provides a glimpse at The Evil One’s efforts to find purpose as he ignores his darker, magical abilities in favour of more physical ones. This one page scene offers up plenty of storytelling possibilities, but nothing materializes from them.

Tommy Castillo and Carsten Bradley do a very good job of capturing the tone of the story. The hot dry desert under a scorching sun creates a stark, hostile and very appropriate backdrop that gives the tale a "Hell on Earth" appearance. Bradley’s colouring especially excels during the night scenes, as the green glow of Evil Ernie casts a truly spooky and ominous light over the entire scene. The only failing to their work is an awkward slaughter scene early in the book, when it becomes very difficult to determine exactly what Ernie is doing.

Taken as a whole, Evil Ernie in Santa Fe #3 suffers the same problems as the previous issues. Despite occasional glimpses of potential, this book seems content to simply go through the motions, never adding anything new to either the genre or the character’s mythos. It feels like just another day at work for Evil Ernie.

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