REVIEW: The End Times of Bram and Ben #1
Let’s face it. If there is such a thing as heaven and the Rapture occurs, not all of us are going to make it. I know I’m not. But what if Heaven made a mistake and a total ass made it? The End Times of Bram and Ben, a new mini-series from Image, tells that very story. Is this issue worth your money or is it damned to hell? Read on to find out!
Previously in The End Times of Bram and Ben: This being a first issue we can only assume everything was just peachy keen.
EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES
Bram and Ben live together and it’s clear from the start that Bram is an a$$hole. The story takes no time getting started as within the first two pages, the Rapture occurs and Bram disappears, along with many others across the globe (except Istanbul, Turkey). Bram soon returns, explaining to Ben that Heaven took him on a clerical error. Seems even Heaven is prone to making mistakes every now and then. According to Bram, Heaven “sucks” and is full of nothing but naked old, fat people. Throughout the issue Ben deals with the situation (along with the rest of the world) and Bram continues to be an ass. By the end, a devilish figure has followed them, a secret agent of Heaven makes contact with Ben and Bram declares his candidacy for “Anti-Christ of the Apocalypse” on live TV.
I’m purposefully keeping things vague because I want you to read this book. I mean I REALLY want you to read this book. The story here is great, as well as light-hearted and funny enough that it shouldn’t offend those of faith. In fact, I would go as far to say that people who have religion in their lives may enjoy this even more as long as they still have a sense of humor. This book doesn’t make fun of religion, but the situation and people’s reaction. In fact, this book assumes that the Bible is actually right and all that spooky stuff will happen. Ben goes through what many of us would, wondering why he would have been denied into Heaven (he rolled a joint in a Bible page) and someone like Bram would. This also makes him question those around him as well, such as Laura, a co-worker he has a crush on. Could she really be that wonderful if she didn’t get into Heaven? The thing is, not everyone knows what has happened, just that people have disappeared mysteriously, but Bram assures Ben Heaven isn’t worth it. The humor is wonderful giving short glimpses at people’s past to show why Heaven doesn’t want them. As Ben tries to explain to his colleagues at school that the Rapture was responsible, someone stops him saying “This is a public school. Technically we can’t even acknowledge that religion exists.” My favorite was Ben sitting in the classroom he teaches, all the children’s seats empty except for one. Ben mutters to himself, “Jeez kid, what did you do?” The book is littered with jokes like this and I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. The solicitation says this title is for fans of Chew, and I agree as the tones are quite similar, but I hope that doesn’t mean this book gets overlooked. It’s just as original as Chew and both take serious subject matter and make it light-hearted and fun to read. I don’t want to give much more away, but needless to say that people should go out and buy this book, as storytelling like this should be encouraged.
JIMMINIE CHRISTMAS THAT’S GOOD!
Rem Broo draws the hell out of this book. If comparisons to Chew are made anywhere, the art would be it. That’s not to say it’s a Chew rip off though, just that it reminds me of that style. The work here is original, well done and stands on its own. Everything is drawn here from characters to backgrounds and all the details in between, while still maintaining a feel that matches the story. There are little visual jokes thrown in, such as a zombie crawling out of a grave wearing a Michael Jackson Thriller jacket. Pages and panels are packed with visual information but it never feels cramped. The world is established well in this first issue and I can’t wait to see more.
BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT OR YOU’RE GOING TO HELL
The End Times of Bram and Ben is a breath of fresh air. It’s original, funny with some killer art and should be read by many. While it deals with a touchy subject, I doubt it will offend anyone, as the humor isn’t focused on faith but rather the situation it presents. James Asmus and Jim Festante know how to tell a fun, witty story and I can’t wait for the next issue. There needs to be more comics like this, and if this doesn’t sell well that would be a goddamn shame. That’s right, I blasphemed. It was worth it, the book’s just that good. The End Times of Bram and Ben #1 gets 5 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!