The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is a gory, gut wrenching, fast paced, romp through a world gasping its final breaths as damnation looms over the head of all mankind.
This book is NOT kid friendly, not even a little bit. Bodies, and boobies, and bloody bits galore are slathered and splattered over almost every page. And the pages that are not splattered and slathered and squirming and oozing with creepy crawly things that go bump and hump in the night.
This collection has a very Heavy Metal feel to it, which is not surprising, since this is a collection piecing together an apocalyptic tale from Heavy Metal compiled by Titan publishing.
Writers Michael Mendheim, Mike Kennedy, and Sean Jaffe create a tale that is quick, gritty, and disgusting. The story reads more like a storyboard for a bad action movie that could never see less than an NC-17 rating. Our hero, a Jewish gent descended from the line of Solomon, is basically the crow with swords and excess savagery. The writing staff just punches us forward introducing character after character, sprinkling a light dab of development, and punching us in the face with demon massacring mayhem. The tale is about as deep as a shotglass, which is fine, since the action movie genre is not one known for its philosophical and intellectual depth.
Several more characters are introduced, some with gratuitous boobs, some not,, to create a cast that is really just a collection of tropes and stereotypes, that somehow map out the plot. If this seems uninformative, so are the characters, and the plot goes barely any deeper than “demons bad! Boom-stick demons in face make go squish and splat!” There is not a great deal of information to decipher. Basically, Michael Bay could direct the crap out of this and it would be ridiculous, but unlike in a Bay movie, not a single childhood memory would be devastated in the process.
The art is where the power stems from. Visually, the art team of Simon Bisley, Ivan Khivrenko, Joel Boucquemont, Vince Proce, and Dave Devries rip out every single stop. The various ways in which they rip people and characters apart is varied, disgusting, and unique, time and time again. Their depiction of hell is astounding, with backgrounds that burst with energy and fear. Demons, devils, and all things foul are visually sculpted in a way that inspires both nausea and awe. The color work by duo Chad Fidler and Michael Drake is herculean on each and every page. Visually, this book is impressive, in particular its action scenes and hellish panoramas.
In summation, this book is a simple click and boom romp through hell. Tons of action, but essentially no depth. Visually, the book is incredibly detailed, and the violence is executed masterfully over and over. For the love of god, do not let your children pick this thing up or you should start saving for their therapy bills immediately.
3 ½ out of 5 for sane folk.
4 ½ out of 5 for you crazy Heavy Metal fanboys.