For Every Action
Before the Best News Ever hit yesterday, I was going to talk about another character's return to comics, but then Project: OMAC was announced and rendered all other news obsolete.
Unfortunately, that won't stop this piece of shit from coming back. Yeah, it's Evil Ernie. Evil fucking Ernie. Apparently not even driving a company into bankruptcy can keep him in a damn grave.
Now even by my usual standards, you may be thinking that's a little harsh. Well if it is harsh, it's because Evil Ernie is the worst comic book character ever created, and to quote Bill Hicks, "that's the fact, the factorum, and if you give me some scratch paper, I can show my work." As I mentioned a week ago, I decided one day to read every Evil Ernie comic we had on hand, so don't think this is an uninformed judgment from some elitist. I know all about his abusive parents, the Dead Onez (look, kids! The famous "90s Z!"), and the quest for Megadeth. Yes, Megadeth. Spelled like the band. I hate these comics. I mean, I read Tarot, but Evil Ernie makes the Jim Balent ouvre look like fucking Hamlet.
Now besides being Brian Pulido's jack-off teen angst revenge fantasy, Evil Ernie is rife--RIFE--with problems. It bills itself as a clever satire on both the comic book industry and the horror genre. See, in a horror movie, the bad guy will usually kill teenagers, but in Evil Ernie, he's a dead teenager that kills adults! See how close to clever that comes? No? Yeah. Me either.
What passes for attempts at satire in the world of Evil Ernie (see Evil Ernie vs. the Superheroes 1 and 2 [yes, there's a fucking sequel]) is poorly done, wrongheaded, and based on the premise that Ernie is a better character than, say, Spider-Man, and I think we can all agree that's just patently untrue, especially for a character that refers to Spidey as a "sooper-hero."
But I'm getting ahead of myself. To spare you the trouble of slogging through that quagmire of awfulness, here's a quick summary of Evil Ernie. Little Ernest Fairchild has telepathic powers, and because he's different, shy, and has a shitty perm (we can assume this mirrors the childhood of a certain creator), his parents beat the hell out of him. This child abuse is shown in flashback for about six pages in every issue, and is portrayed so over-the-top and cartoonish as to be laughable. I seem to remember at one point that his dad hits him with a baseball bat and throws him through a window, and the next day he's got a black eye. A BLACK EYE! What is he, Wolverine?! Anyway. He's experimented on by a scientist or something and ends up hanging out in the Endless Graveyard with Lady Death, who at least had the good sense to get bought by a separate company and legally end her involvement in Ernie's stories.
So Ernie, at the age of like 13, ends up killing 37 people in his neighborhood, which is absolutely ludicrous. It's absoludicrous. He'd have to be quieter than Snake Eyes and luckier than Longshot to pull that off. Regardless, he gets shipped off to another scientist where another experiment goes awry and turns him into Evil Ernie, and he subsequently murders everyone east of the Mississippi River, including dropping a military satellite on New York. Then he blows up the world with nuclear weapons or something and gets rebooted. We didn't have those issues, thank God.
The crazy thing about it is that everything wrong with Evil Ernie--the over-the-top violence, the insanely nonsensical series of events, the way the world is an idea viewed through a lens of madness--is what's charming about OMAC. Which just goes to show that Brian Pulido is no Jack Kirby. Jack was writing for us, while Brian wrote self-indulgent tripe.
And a quick word on the violence. There's something enjoyable about Jack Hawksmoor punching a guy in the brain. Maybe it's because that's not the primary focus of the Authority. But when Ernie does it--and I've seen him do it, dear God, have I seen him do it--you just know that someone was sitting there drawing it going: "AW MAN THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME LOOKAT THAT BRAIN GOIN' EVERYWHERE!" It's an unhealthy way to run things.
And I won't even get into the fans.
For what it's worth, Tim Seely seems like he has at least a handle on how Ernie works, and he's come up with what sounds like the best Evil Ernie plot in years--which isn't saying much--and is trying to tie it into some kind of continuity. It's hardly a noble goal, but I wish him the best of luck with him, and I honestly want to see if someone can fix a character I declared irreparably and inherently flawed.
Maybe this'll get someone to finally look at my Cremator proposal. I'm telling you, it's Conan meets Sandman... in hell.