Review: Chaos #1

I wouldn’t say that I was a huge fan of Chaos back in the day due to the fact that I started reading their titles just before they sold everything off. I was sad to see it go since I like many other men my age or older at the time, liked the character designs. Say what you will about the “bad girl” cheesecake era of comics, they still produced some powerful women. I wouldn’t fuck with any of these ladies and never saw them play the role of victim. This new approach to the characters, which were purchased by Dynamite in a fire sale of sorts, is to place them all in one title and universe. Sure they already shared a Universe, but Chaos’ (the former Publisher) model was to give each character their own series and if two characters interacted that was a new mini-series and really they were playing the collectible cover game. It’s unfortunate because if they had taken this approach and shipped bi-weekly it might have been a different story for them. In a lot of ways Zenescope reminds me of Chaos, but without the skilled assemble of artists.

After a quick teaser that reintroduces Purgatory, we’re off to a quick introduction for Evil Ernie. That’s going to happen a lot if you couldn’t already guess. We are essentially putting a universe back together again so the issue opens with several quick introductions that serve two purposes. 1) To make old fans go “yeah” and 2) introduce the characters to new readers and give them some idea about who they are. In Ernie’s segment he stabs a Santa Claus because he’s a pedophile, but when he looks in the dudes eyes he sees a woman calling for him. He’s rattled by it and tells his button pal that they need to find more sinners.

The next introduction is a group of monsters that I’m not familiar with. They’re stopping a human trafficking operation that’s feeding Purgatory and end up finding a strange girl in the cab of the truck. The girl can’t remember who she is and since she doesn’t fit Purgatory’s profile of food, they take her with them. This leads to Chasity’s introduction as she tries to kill the girl for reasons unknown, but the attack makes the girl project a terrifying vision of the future which pushes the plot forward and sends our monster gang after Evil Ernie.

The story isn’t bad, but there isn’t a lot you should expect from it. It is after all a nostalgia based tale that is missing one of its key components… Lady Death. While the story is entertaining and well plotted, it really doesn’t feel like Chaos without LD at least for now. Otherwise it’s a pretty basic first issue. I’m sure some are interested enough to keep reading.

Chaos01-Cov-CampbellFor me it was just alright. There was nothing that amazing about it and I pretty much knew how it would be paced from the very beginning and it didn’t surprise me. That’s really the biggest take away from this issue… no surprises. That’s not to say that it’s a bad story. It was entertaining for sure and I wasn’t disappointed by it or even left with some nitpicking fanboy moments. It was just alright, but I’m hoping for more in future issues.

I’m actually surprised that there was only one artist on the title as there seemed to be slightly different styles for different scenes. It impresses me more that it all came from Mirka Andolfo because it instantly shows their range as an artist.

In particular I enjoyed the opening and while it didn’t do much for the story or plot it was visually pleasing. In fact the visuals were almost too strong for the scene. Overall Andolfo does a fine job of capturing the Chaos feel with the visuals and all the action sequences were entertaining and easy to follow.

Is this the triumphant return of Chaos? Not really. It’s good to have the characters back even if it’s just a mini-series. The problem with Chaos has always been that they have great characters, but no villains and no stories for them to go through. You could look at it like a universe full of villains and anti-heroes walking the thinnest of lines between hero and villain, but it’s just a strange mix of character that never really had a story to tell. There is a story here, but we’ll have to see if it can bust out of the event book mold that it’s started off in.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Tim Seely Artist: Mirka Andolfo Colorist: Walter Baiamonte Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/7/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital