Review: Metalocalypse/Dethklok #1

Published on October 8th, 2010

First off, I love Adult Swim, I think they have some great shows. Metalocalypse is tied for my favorite Adult Swim show along with The Venture Brothers. The one thing that really pisses me off about Adult Swim is their scheduling. You get four to eight episodes and then nothing for six months to a year. So when I found out about a Dethklok comic book series, I was pretty excited. Especially since Brendon Small and Jon Schnepp are working on the series.

metalocalypseFor anyone who has never seen an episode of Metalocalypse the series follows a death metal band called Dethklok, and unlike most death metal bands this band is so popular the world’s economy is dependent on their existence. The comic reads like you’re watching an episode of the TV series, you get all the characters: Dethklok, Dr. Rockzo The Rock N Roll Clown, Facebones, and of course the Tribunal.

This issue in particular has Dethklok starting their own line of frozen foods while Murderface becomes the most popular member of the band when he starts a Chitter account. What I liked about this issue is how the writing is just like the show, if you watch the show you know that continuity is vital. Throughout the series they make constant references to things that have happened in previous episodes and with every episode something happens that continues the story. It’s like watching Lost, but not as boring or complicated. The humor in the book fits right in with the show as well, my favorite part is when Murderface tries to explain what DNA is to Toki, which somehow turns into the story of The Murderous Himalayan Ice Ape.

I do have to comment about the art, the cover is really cool, it captures that Dethklok demonic look, but the inside is a little awkward. The first few pages didn’t look too good to me. Murderface and the Manager looked fine, but I thought Nathan and Skwisgaar just didn’t look right. You could tell who the artist was drawing, but their faces just didn’t look right. I especially thought that Nathan’s face looked too much like a confused ape. But as I kept reading, everything seemed to improve. About halfway through the book Nathan starts to look better, and then when you get to the last couple pages when Dethklok gets to their concert, all the characters look perfect. I don’t know if it’s something I’m imagining, but the first time I read it I thought they had two artists. And obviously the biggest problem this book has to face is that it’s a book. The coolest thing about the show is the music and no matter what that’s something this book can never give. It’s weird when Dethklok gets on stage and you’re reading lyrics with no music. They give you a “CHUGGEDA” sound effect, but it’s just not the same. On the plus side reading the lyrics gives you the ability to understand them.

Overall I was pretty happy with this book. I think the most important thing when you take a cartoon and then make a comic book out of it is that you have to be able to imagine the voices of the characters you’re reading. And I was able to imagine the character’s voices in my head when I read it. The comic matched with the show, and I think this is a good addition to the Dethklok Saga. It may not be perfect, but if you’re as big a fan of the show as I am you’ll get some enjoyment out of this comic book. If you’re not a fan you probably shouldn’t bother with it.

Ken Zeider