Review: The Amazing Joy Buzzards Volume 1

Published on December 21st, 2010

Happy Trade Tuesday, it’s only a few more days until Christmas my Comic Impact friends! Still having trouble figuring out what to get someone? Why not a nice Trade or graphic novel? Why not The Amazing Joy Buzzards from Image Comics? It’s pretty good, which is why I chose it for this week’s Trade Tuesday. So let’s get down to business.

The Amazing Joy Buzzards is about a rock n’ roll band of the same name consisting of Biff Ashby the guitar player/vocalist/ladies man, Stevo Vargas the bass player of few words, and Gabe Carlyle the drummer and the smartest guy in the band (he’s got glasses, so you know he’s super smart). The band is managed by the Creative International Artists Agency which is a cover for the C.I.A. to use the AJB as a front to get into other countries and use them to take care of threats to the United States. The band use a not so secret base located inside Mt. Rushmore as their headquarters. I say not so secret because the band would only agree if they carved another head into the mountain, that being the head of El Campeon, their loyal and mystical Mexican Wrestler/genie who can be summoned using an amulet that Gabe carries around and yelling the words “Go El Campeon Go!” Their manager/handler, Dalton Warner never seems to be around when El Campeon is and believes the Wrestler is the band’s imaginary friend.

theamazinjoybuzzards

The book consists of four issues from the first series. Book one introduces the characters and follows them on an adventure that involves Stevo being turned into a giant gila monster after being tricked into drinking a potion that was brought by an evil robot called The Pink Bot. The Pink Bot used to be referred to as Darkbot, but after a previous encounter with The Amazing Joy Buzzards was dumped into a vat of chemicals and turned pink. When he turned pink he lost all credibility with the robot mafia and swore revenge on the AJB, hence the whole turning Stevo into a giant Gila monster that is now ransacking the city. The remaining Buzzards meet with their scientist pal, Professor Yu who is able to create an antidote. Biff, Gabe, and El Campeon get a plane and fly to intercept Stevo. El Campeon is able to hit Stevo with the antidote and rescue their friend. El Campeon then smashes Pinkbot with his elbow and the guys return to their secret base where they meet a Hollywood Producer who offers them a movie deal that Gabe signs almost immediately.

Part two deviates from the story and follows the Amazing Joy Buzzards on an archeological expedition on the Island of Maru with Professor Yu’s daughter that Stevo has a huge crush on. The band end up meeting some new super villains and are forced to fight for their lives against killer vampire robots! The band is able to defeat their enemies and get some fun time on the beach before they go home and get a stern lecture from Dalton about signing the movie deal without talking to him first. So now the guys are off to Hollywood to make a movie and solve a mystery.

When they get to Hollywood Gabe ends up being the only guy used in the movie. Meanwhile Biff and Stevo are meeting their idol, Brick Brannigan who is also filming on the lot. While watching him film an assassination attempt is made on Brick and before being taken to the hospital Brick makes Biff promise to find out who tried to kill him. With Gabe busy Biff and Stevo are forced to solve the mystery on their own, and they have to solve the mystery before the end of the work day or else the studio has to pay the workers overtime. After staging a concert on the lot the Buzzards find out the would be killer is the agent who signed them for the movie. The guy is actually a villain who goes by Hypno and is also on a revenge kick against the band because he blames them for his career going bad because the band’s popularity was so big it actually canceled out his own hypnotic powers. Hypno then brings forth his army of zombie extras to kill the band, but when El Campeon shows up The Amazing Joy Buzzards are able to defeat Hypno and his army of zombie extras.

This is one of those great comedic comics that’s able to make fun of everything including movies and national security that can really turn around a bad day, or make a good day better. It’s like a more light-hearted version of Metalocalypse/Dethklok that could appeal to almost anyone. I really enjoyed the art in the book, it’s a really cartoony style that fits great with the characters. I especially like how Stevo’s dialogue is done with pictures instead of actual words. And El Campeon may be the greatest Mexican Wrestler/Genie I’ve ever seen in a comic. This is a really great book that I could recommend to anyone as long as they have a sense of humor and you can get a copy at Amazon for about 16 bucks.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com