Sunday, December 22, 2019

#IReadsYou Review: BUBBA HO-TEP and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #5


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Joshua Jabcuga (based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale) – @jabcuga @joelansdale
ART: Horacio Domingues
COLORS: Ryan Hill
LETTERS: Tom B. Long
EDITOR: Chase Marotz
COVER: Baldemar Rivas
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Horacio Domingues with Ryan Hill; Baldemar Rivas
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2018 / in shops January 9, 2019)

Joe R. Lansdale's 2017 novel, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers, initially received some kind of limited release. The novel is a prequel to Lansdale's 1994 novella, “Bubba Ho-Tep,” which filmmaker Don Coscarelli (Phantasm) adapted into a beloved, comic horror film of the same name that was released in 2002.  The novel is receiving a wider release in February 2019.

In the meantime, dear readers, you can enjoy the comic book, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers.  This 2018 comic book adaptation is written Joshua Jabcuga; drawn by Tadd Galusha; colored by Ryan Hill; and lettered by Tom B. Long, with covers drawn by Baldemar Rivas.  The comic book follows a fictional version of legendary rock 'n' roll singer and performer, and American icon, Elvis Presley.  The King of Rock 'n' Roll works for a secret government organization (which might by named the “Hidden Agenda”).  Elvis' manager, “The Colonel” (based on the real-world Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker), is his handler, as Presley and a team of operatives fight supernatural enemies that threaten the world.

Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #5 is the final issue of the adaptation, and Horacio Domingues replaces Todd Galusha as artist for this final issue.  The issue opens at the safe house, an abandoned plantation manor, from where Elvis and his team have plotted to stop a blood-sucking threat against Earth from another dimension.  Contemplating the nature and process of social wasps and their nest building, Elvis discovers something about the nature of their enemy – something that can help Elvis and company defeat them.  But the end may be bigger than Elvis and his team can imagine.

Without spoiling this issue, I can say that the resolution offered in Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #5 may have been hinted at since the first or second issue.  I did think there was some oddity in the way the adversarial monsters acted, as if they never fully employed the power they seemed to have.

This final issue is also kind of melancholy.  It seems as if circumstances, duty, and fate conspire to strip away characters' dignity to the point that one must give up so much to have a little peace of mind and self-determination.  For the sake of continuity (more or less), this ending does explain, to an extent, the state in which we find Elvis in “Bubba Ho-Tep.”

The change in artist does not hurt the story in a major way.  Considering the end, Horacio Domingues seems to be an appropriate off-beat note, and Ryan Hill's garish colors keep things as funky and as surreal as he did in the earlier issues.  I hope to see this creative team again.  I hope Joe R. Lansdale transfers the moniker, Bubba Ho-Tep, to Elvis, making it a battle name for the King of Rock 'n' Roll in a new future of monster fighting.  I hope...

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


No comments:

Post a Comment