2 Headed Dog #22
Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2006
By: Steve Saville
Creator(s): Erik Weems
Publishers: Self Published
After reading a number of Erik Weems’ comics it is obvious that our Erik has an obsession. He appears to be fixated with the possible frailties and insecurities of super heroes and non human Gothic characters. He is fascinated by the fragile ego of Batman and the social ineptitude of Dracula. Weems’ comics explore this juxtaposition of super being power and self obsessive human paranoia. It is a pretty rich vein for a comic creator to mine too, the problem is that Weems has been here before and is running the risk of sucking all the goodness out of the concept [all the puns in that last sentence were intentional by the way].
What Weems does is to take instantly recognisable characters such as Batman and Dracula, characters whom we are used to seeing portrayed as being above the petty insecurities of us mere mortals and making them subject to a wide range of self doubts and worries. Weems explores this basic theme with glee but I do worry that he is starting to work himself into a creative corner and as a result runs the risk of presenting himself as something of a one gag wonder. The concept is a good one but as with everything else in life there is a limit. If you have yet to enter Weems' wacky world then this collection is a great place to start for those of you who are familiar with his work then don’t expect too much in the way of new directions..
The first main story, Bat Pathology follows Batman as he questions the very essence of his being, the cape, the mask, Cat Woman etc. it even ends with him showing some fairly unpleasant jealousy towards one of his colleagues. Overall Batman when seen through the eyes of Weems is just not that comfortable with himself. I have always enjoyed Weems’ artistry and this latest volume does not disappoint, the bold brush work gives real energy to the page and helps create a visual rawness that gives the impression that Weems was on a sugar rush when he was working,. The energy apparent on every page is frenetic.
The next story Supergirls examines what constitutes a female super hero. It trots out all the standard clichés for examination but then fails to deliver the humdinger of an ending that the story seemed to be building up to. So we are left feeling a little deflated, the story has the required energy but just sort of peters out.
The Brotherhood of the Cape follows Dracula on a night on the town as he tries to score with some "hot chicks". His attempts are an embarrassing failure and just as his ego seems to have been totally destroyed he is mistaken for another caped character and his shredded sense of self esteem is well and truly ground in to the mud.
As the man! himself says, “it just ain’t fair.”
At this point the story loses the plot a little and Dracula’s whining verges on the tedious. Not to worry though, the arrival of Mrs Dracula, a large and assertive but very human figure who is sick of her husbands wandering ways, ensures that this tale has a rollicking close.
The most amusing story though is the closing tale, a spoof of Conan and Red Sonja. The scantily clad Conanan and Red Sonjaja cavort through the snow oblivious to the harsh environment that surrounds them while all around freeze. This delightful five pager mocks the Barbarian style comics but there is an obvious fondness apparent and the result is delightful.
Look Weems can’t do a bad comic but this sure ain’t his best and I am still awaiting the Weems masterpiece. Come on Erik let the creative dogs loose you know you want to.
In a Word: Predictable
In a Word: Predictable.
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