Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Advanced Comics Review: "ALICE COOPER Volume 2 #1" is Number One with a Bullet


STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Edu Menna
COLORS: Adriano Lucas
LETTERS: Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Jason Shawn Alexander
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Stuart Sayger; Andrew Mangum; Jason Shawn Alexander
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (October 2023)

Rated Teen+

Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier) is an American rock singer, actor, and Grammy Award-nominated recording artist.  He is known for his outlandish stage shows which include fake blood, stage illusions, and pyrotechnics, to name a few elements.  Originally the name of his band, Furnier made “Alice Cooper” his legal name and embarked on a solo career in the mid-1970s.

Dynamite Entertainment has preciously featured Alice Cooper as a comic book character in Alice Cooper Volume 1 (2014-15).  Cooper returns to comic books in Alice Cooper Volume 2.  It is written by Rodney Barnes; drawn by Edu Menna; colored by Adriano Lucas; and lettered by Troy Peteri.  The series finds Alice Cooper in the middle of a promotional tour for his new album when he notices something decidedly odd about some of his new fans.

Alice Cooper Volume 2 #1 opens at the “Crossroads” jazz club, located somewhere in another dimension.  Tonight, Lucifer makes his debut as a blues-singing sensation, and he is quite good the first time.  However, he is quickly informed that he needs to be loved above all other performers if he is going to have any staying power.  Jealous, Lucifer sends out his demonic forces and suddenly, legendary rock stars start disappearing.

Meanwhile, Alice Cooper – singer, rock musician, and sometimes demon slayer – has a new album out and is in the midst of a promotional tour.  Of course, it's great to see all his fans again, but everywhere he goes, he notices something strange and disturbing.  Some of those fans appear to be the undead!  Even more shocking, someone in the “Nightmare Place,” has a warning for him.  This chapter features guest appearances by such legendary performers as Aerosmith, James Brown, Miles Davis, Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, Mike Jagger, Elvis Presley, Prince, and Richard Pryor

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  Alice Cooper Volume 2 #1 is the latest, and it is the first Alice Cooper comic book that I have ever read.

Honestly, I am not really a fan of Alice Cooper.  I don't dislike him.  It's just that by the time I discovered him, the legendary rock band, Kiss, was already providing me with my rock 'n' roll weirdness, although I did find Cooper's interesting.  Cooper is a fantastic, killer homeless dude in director John Carpenter's 1987 horror flick, Prince of Darkness.

The only reason that I am reading this comic book is because I am a huge fan of its writer, the amazing Rodney Barnes, who is dazzling many readers with his and Jason Shawn Alexander's vampire comic book, Killadelphia.  And he doesn't disappoint me with Alice Cooper Volume 2 #1.  Every subplot, every location, every scene change, and every character is an utter delight.  Barnes makes every story element so intriguing and every character so likable that I want more.

Edu Menna's art and storytelling are quite potent, bringing Barnes story to comic book life in a variety of moods and changes of style that give this story a surreal tone grounded in a kind of everyday reality.  Menna makes this first issue feel like more than just another dark fantasy comic book; he makes it feel like an event.

Adriano Lucas's colors help this first issue become something a little bit more than just another trip into dark fantasy, and Troy Peteri's lettering conveys the overall sense of oddness that permeates this debut.  These are the finishing touches to a clever opening issue. Alice Cooper Volume 2 #1 hasn't come out yet and I already want the second issue.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Alice Cooper and of the comic books of Rodney Barnes will want Alice Cooper Volume 2.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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