Overview

Man With the Screaming Brain #1

Review

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Man With the Screaming Brain #1

Credits

  • Words: Bruce Campbell and David Goodman
  • Art: Rick Remender
  • Inks: Hilary Barta
  • Colors: Michelle Madsen
  • Story Title: Man with the Screaming Brain
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 11, 2005

A greedy American businessman travels to Bulgaria with his lonely wife in order to find a tax haven. There he meets KGB cabbies, Gypsy maids and a lot of trouble!

Man with the Screaming Brain is a Bruce Campbell movie adapted to the comic book page. He has said that the comic is actually more true to his story than the movie, which is yet to be seen by a wide audience. What follows is a fairly amusing set-up issue that is not nearly as crazy as one might expect but is probably better because of it. All the pieces are in play for the following three issues: murderous Gypsies, mad scientists, Communist cabbies and a fast talking sleazebag American who is not in a good position at this issue’s completion!

I am not familiar with Campbell’s other comic book works and have never really had the same affection for his work in the Evil Dead sequels as other people. His best work in my opinion was as the obnoxious door man in Spider-Man 2. Nevertheless, I was quite amused and intrigued by this issue. Had this story been told in the eighties it would have been a Steve Martin movie and it brings some of this older-style sensibility to the table.

Campbell and Goodman have a good ear for dialogue, movie dialogue that is. Every character sounds like their lines and manners of speech have been taken from old cold war comedies and sci-fi potboilers. This results in a read that is constantly amusing but never laugh-out-loud funny. The story is sprinkled with little tidbits of humour, such as the CCCP bumper sticker on the cab and the Bulgarian wheel of fortune joke: "under Communism, vowels were free."

The art is easily the best part of this comic; Remender’s pencils capture the individuality of every character and the grot of the city excellently. His bulging eyes and cartoon bodies aid the humour of the book immensely. The colouring and finishing is quite good also, making the art jump off the page nicely.

This comic is quite a good first issue as it seemingly completes all of the necessary set-up. It is nevertheless a little disappointing that, given the title of the piece, there was not more of the sci-fi element that I was expecting. The characters and their predicaments are interesting enough and I certainly expect to read the rest of the mini.

-Matthew Clark

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