Saturday, December 2, 2023

Comics Review: "ALICE COOPER Volume 2 #2" is for Those About to Rock


STORY: Rodney Barnes
ART: Edu Menna
COLORS: Adriano Lucas
LETTERS: Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Stuart Sayger
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Stuart Sayger; Andrew Mangum; Jae Lee
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 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.  It's all part of Lucifer's plan to strike out at the rock star he hates/envies the most, Alice Cooper.

Alice Cooper Volume 2 #2 opens with Lucifer, Son of the Morning, revisiting his past.  Once he was creation's greatest musical performer, but God didn't like his jams.  Eventually, the cursed humans came along; Lucifer's music career faded; and that caused a rebellion...

Now, Lucifer has set his sights on Alice Cooper, who performs his hits night after night to ravenous crowds and thunderous applause.  But why does Lucifer believe that Cooper is the one standing between him and (don't call it) a comeback?  Enter the archangel Gabriel with a powerful musical instrument that will help Cooper clear away the devils of darkness.  The real showdown, however, will begin at a small venue where the blues are played.

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 #2 is the latest, and it is the second Alice Cooper comic book that I have ever read.

In my review of of Alice Cooper Volume 2 #1, I told you, dear readers, that I am not really a fan of Alice Cooper.  I said that it was not because I did not like Cooper; I do find him interesting.  By the time I discovered him, however, the legendary rock band, Kiss, was already providing me with my rock 'n' roll weirdness.

Now, I am a big fan of screenwriter, television writer-producer, and comic book author, Rodney Barnes.  He is a master of dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction, but he also has a deft touch with comedy.  I am having a kick reading a tale in which Lucifer is stupidly obsessed with Alice Cooper as the reason he, Lucifer, isn't at the top of the pop charts.  Barnes' concept is both hilarious and witty, and I am anxious to see where this goes.

Edu Menna's art and storytelling bring 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.  The devilish surreal mixes with a kind of down-and-dirty reality.  Menna makes this series feel like more than just another dark fantasy comic book; he makes it feel like an event.

Adriano Lucas's colors make sure this series comes off as 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 the first two issues.  Alice Cooper Volume 2 has utterly surprised me, and I'm sure it will continue to delight.  Let this series surprise you, dear readers.

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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