Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #2

A comic review article by: Danny Djeljosevic & Rafael Gaitan
Originally, I wasn’t going to give our resident Axe Cop obsessive and professional Jonah Hill impersonator Rafael Gaitan the opportunity to review Bad Guy Earth #2 -- mostly because I wanted to review it -- but he changed my mind when something quite unexpected happened: he had an idea.

“I’d love to read
Axe Cop to a kid and make it write a review,” he suggested at the comic book shop, as we waited for our friend Emily to show up.

“Hey, Emily’s got kids,” I realized. “We can ask her when she comes by.”

Twenty minutes later, Emily finally showed up.

“Emily, can we use your kids?” Raf said. He didn’t offer an explanation.

Finally Raf explained the situation, looking up from the curb on which he sat, in between complaints that the cuffs were chafing his wrists. Emily graciously agreed to drop the charges as well as allow a pair of twentysomethings to exploit her children for the purposes of the dubious discourse of comics criticism.

So, the next day, Emily brought the kids -- Joshua, age 4 and Angie, age 5 -- promising them, among other things, a story about dinosaurs.

Rafael sat down in front of them while I quietly transcribed.


Rafael: This is Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth. It’s about a guy called Axe Cop and his best friend.

He shows them the cover, which shows a dinosaur that isn’t Dinosaur Soldier.

Rafael: Um, that’s actually Wexler, but we’ll get to that.

Joshua: Okay.

Angie: (quietly nods)

It’s here that we realized that, despite having he mentality of 12-year-old boys, we have no idea how to talk to children. So Rafael would read the captions and the dialogue, showing the kids the pages, while Emily would explain it in a way children who can’t read could actually understand.

Emily: So they got the evil scientist to make the Good Guy Machine into a Bad Guy Machine. So, it doesn’t turn people into good guys anymore. It turns them into bad guys.

Joshua: (positive, unintelligible chirp with his thumb in his mouth)

The Psychic Brothers, the villains of Bad Guy Earth, test our their new machine by throwing in one of the Army Soldiers they previously stole in issue one. It transforms him into a demonic soldier with fangs, horns and bat wings.

Emily:: Do you think he looks nice? Or does he look mean?

Joshua: He looks nice.

Rafael: What do you think’s going to happen next?

Joshua: The chicken robots are gonna come back.

At least he has a sense of how consistent a story should be.

Rafael: “Meanwhile, Axe Cop and his team went back to dinosaur times. There was a battle going on between aliens and dinosaurs.”

Joshua: I wanna build that!

I have no idea what he meant there.

Rafael: “As they flew away, Axe Cop pushed the sword button. A giant laser sword cut the whole planet in half. That’s the only way to kill a whole planet of aliens.”

Joshua: I don’t like the dinosaur book!

Joshua lies back in abject boredom, as only a child can after only two minutes of minor despair.

Rafael: “The baseball players were winning. So Axe Cop made a portal to Planet Baseball. He bought a bunch of exploding baseballs.”

Joshua: Mommy, can I use the phone?

Joshua grabs Emily’s phone and plays a game with ninjas in it. Rafael hands Emily the comic, unintentionally paralleling the boy’s actions. Maybe this will work better coming from Mom instead of Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan.

Emily: “But when they got to Uni-Man’s lab, he was gone. They found a note from the bad guys.”

Angie: (quietly nods)

Joshua: (crawls on top of Angie, puts the ninja game in her face) Can you help me?

Angie: (ignores him, continues to pay attention)

In this issue, we also find the harrowing origin of Sockarang, the superhero with socks for arms, and we meet Sockarang’s mom, previously thought dead.

Emily: “But she knew the secret word that only his mom knew. It was the word magician backward.”

Angie: (quietly nods)

Emily: How do you say “magician” backwards?

Angie: Um…

Emily: I don’t know, can you try?

Angie: Nope.

Emily continues, as Axe Cop and the gang travel to “the year 0,000,0, when animals could talk.”

Emily: “Meanwhile, the Psychic Brothers were turning earth into Bad Guy Earth.”

Emily turns the pages, revealing a Dark Horse Comics house ad with a giant kitten on it.

Angie: Kitty!

Now that the main event was over, we asked Angie questions about the book as Joshua wandered around, touching things and asking to play age-inappropriate Xbox games.

Emily: What did you think? Did you like it?

Angie: I liiike it!

Rafael: What did you like? Did you like Axe Cop? The dinosaurs?

Angie: The dinosaurs!

Rafael: Why?

Angie: ‘Cause it had guns on its hands.

Emily: Did you like the bad guys? Or did you think what they were doing was bad?

Angie: They were being mean to all those planets!

Emily: What about Uni-Smart World? Did you like that planet?

Angie: Yeah!

Emily: You didn’t like what they did to that planet?

Angie: Yeah!

Rafael: Which pictures did you like? Which did you think was funny?

Joshua: (unintelligible)

Emily: What do you think of Planet Bobo? Did you think it was funny? What’s it shaped like?

Angie: An alien!

Emily: Would you want to live there?

Angie: No.

Rafael: What didn’t you like in the whole book?

Angie: I didn’t like when the bad guys exploded the town. The one where they take all the people.

Emily: Which one was your favorite planet?

Angie: The one with the unicorn horn.

NOTE: This actually happens in the comic.

Emily: Did you think it was kind of funny -- even though it's bad -- that the people on the unicorn's planet couldn't make wishes? Did you think that was funny?

Angie: (quietly nods)

Rafael: Which picture did you like the most?

Angie: The one at the ending.

Emily: The bad guys make the Bad Guy Machine. What should the good guys do?

Angie: Kill them.

Emily: What do you think's gonna happen? The good guys used to have a good machine. What are the good guys gonna say to the bad guys?

Angie: "Please go to another good machine."

Rafael: What do you think happened to the aliens? Do you think they're gonna come back for revenge?

Angie: I think they're gonna come back.

Emily: What do you think Axe Cop needs to do next?

Angie: Get the bad guys.

Rafael: Would you read more of this?

Angie: (quietly shakes her head)

Emily: Do you want to know what happens in the next issue?

Angie: I don't want to read it anymore.

Joshua: I don’t like it.

Emily: Why?

Joshua: I don’t like it, though!

Emily: Why?

Joshua: ‘Cause it’s boring!

They really earned their pizza that day.

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