So, it turns out that our friend Emily read our review of Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #2 and refused to allow us to further exploit her children for a review of #3.
But then I had an even better idea than breaking a friend's trust and exploiting children for the purposes of reviewing a comic book. To create the effect of talking to a child, I decided to get Rafael Gaitan really, really drunk and ask him what he thinks of Bad Guy Earth #3.
When I pitched him the idea, he was conveniently in the middle of mixing himself a liberally poured Jim Beam & Coke, and was thus very easy to persuade.
Rafael: Feelings, man.
Danny: Yeah, yeah… tell me --
Danny: -- what happens in Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #3?
Rafael: Oh, you motherfucker, you would ask me that. Do you want me to paint the themes, paint a picture, extrapolate meaning from the inner parenthetical remarks?
Danny: Just take another drink.
Rafael: I'm going to, but not because you told me to -- because I like the way alcohol tastes in my brain. First of all, crucial flaw: no mention of the Bad Guy Earth. Not a one. They talk about it, and we saw it at the end of #2. Just a bunch of animals! What's up with that? I'm gonna mix another drink.
He does exactly that. The pour goes from liberal to anarchistic.
Rafael: So, Axe Guy and his squad, they're attempting to defeat the -- what are their names? The Psychopathic Brothers?
Danny: The Psychic Brothers.
Rafael: Yeah, they're trying to defeat them, but they have to deal with several obstacles, including a squishing machine. So, if you want to sum it up the way a drunk baby would -- cookie?
Danny: No thanks.
Rafael: So, Axe Cop and his drunk friend -- that's me -- so, Axe Cop and his friends try to save the world, get killed a lot, somehow come back to life and then Axe Cop makes everyone shit themselves. There's a lot of usage of blood, which I found upsetting. By which I mean I found it awesome.
Danny: What's so awesome about blood?
Rafael: It tastes good, you can eat it on bread, you can put it with mustard…
Danny: What's your favorite part of the issue?
Rafael: Hey man, why do I feel like I'm being talked down to like a child? It's really close between President Zombie Bear Cop, because tell me that's not a fucking stylish President Zombie Bear Cop, but then there's this.
He shows me a two-page spread.
Rafael: The battle of the squish monsters. But I really love Axe Cop making everyone shit themselves.
Danny: Why do you like when Axe Cop makes everyone shit themselves?
Rafael: It's all so silly, but Ethan reigns in Malachai a little bit -- my super-favorite part is the dog wearing a suit.
Danny: Um, you were saying? About reining it in?
Rafael: I really like that part because, of all the silliness that happens, Ethan pieces it together and it progresses the story, but the ending is really where he lets Malachai be Malachai. You can practically see them write the story:
"So Axe Cop saves the day, then Axe Cop becomes the President."
"Okay. Good. What happens next?"
"But then he makes everybody poop themselves."
Axe Cop is just pure comics. Malachai has no outside influence to the storytelling. It's all coming from him. It's a cute little reminder that he's in control of the story, in case anybody had their doubts that Ethan was heavily editing the story in any way. I wonder about that sometimes -- if Ethan vetoes anything that Malachai throws in there, but that's an indicator that he doesn't.
Danny: I think you need to take another drink.
Rafael: Working on it, sir.
Danny: What's your least favorite part?
Rafael: I guess I'm not the biggest fan of the Axe Cop Lava Bull? Although, I do appreciate that he comes with a battle axe.
Danny: Why is that the moment where you're not completely with the comic? Considering all the other, uh, shit that happens.
Rafael: It's because it didn't ring true to the character. And I know I'm saying this about a six-year-old shouting things at his brother, but it's not Axe Cop's shtick. That's what Dinosaur Soldier does. Axe Cop seems to be super-powerful as himself, just like with the raygun and the axe.
Danny: But what about the time Axe Cop turned into Axe Cop with Lemon?
Rafael: May I sub-respond to that? First of all, shut up. Second of all, remember that he turned into Axe Cop with Lemon. What changed? His axe. He was the same old Axe Cop, with a refreshing lemon twist.
Danny: Who's your favorite character?
Rafael: I'm gonna go with my N-word Axe Cop.
I assure you he actually used the phrase "N-word."
Rafael: The reason I started reading the strip was because of the character Axe Cop.
Danny: So, Axe Cop made everyone poop their pants. What do you think happens next?
Rafael: Now that he's been named President of All Presidents, he has to produce a birth certificate and make a topical reference to the killing of an enemy of the state. And there is much, much doubt.
How did this turn out more disastrous than interviewing disinterested children?
What did you think of this book?
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