Man With The Screaming Brain #1 Review

Reviewer: James Hatton

Story by: Bruce Campbell & David Gooodman
Pencils: Rick Remender
Finishes: Hilary Barta
Colors: Michelle Madson
Ltters: Nate Piekos for Blambot
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Bruce ‘B-Star God’ Campbell has defeated zombies. He’s named Peter Parker. He’s been a master of thieves. He’s been Elvis. He has voiced video games. The man is everywhere that a geek wants to be. Hell, he’s my choice to play Deadpool if they ever get around to adapting that one. He is the Mastercard of geekdom. Him and his chin are two of my favorite things in this world.

Now, Bruce wants to cover comics with an adaption of his new movie ‘The Man With The Screaming Brain’.

STORY!

A scientist has figured something that has plagued under-rated bad horror villains for years – how to take two people’s brains and stick them in one head. With this new technology, you could splice minds unheard of. What would Hitler be like if he shared a head with Gandhi or Steve Martin. What would this world be like if Quentin Tarantino mixed brains with Charlize Theron. Do you see what I’m getting at?! NO! NO YOU DON’T! There is greatness in madness, and putting the brain of Claudia Schiffer in the same head as David Duke just seems like the craziest thing ever!

So, back to the story – in Russia, the biggest drug company’s CEO has shown up for business. We are taken through a strange journey through the bad streets of Russia. Gypsies run the streets, and our hero makes his appearance. A taxi cab driver by the name of Yegor Stragov picks up our CEO, William Cole, and his lady, the beautiful Jackie.

One attempted carjacking, a mad gypsy woman, a murder, and adultery fill these pages with action. Questions lead us out of the first issue, but we weren’t given a moment to consider all that went on. I actually had to go read this book twice to make sure I caught all of the little nuances of what’s going on. Is that good or bad? It’s up to the reader to decide, but by the end you know that William Cole is going to be our ‘Screaming Brain’, but who is going to be joining him in there?

ART!

The book feels old. It really comes across like you are reading some weird old EC action/horror story that has ben given a clean set of inks and colors. I love it. Each and every character is over the top. Busty if they are supposed to be. Sleazy if that’s what is expected. Each of these characters are perfect examples of how to define a character’s motivations through their look.

Clean, cartoony, and fun.

OVERALL!

It’s a bit obvious that this is a movie moved to comic by the pacing. I’m not a fan of that at all, but it’s got Bruce’s sense of humor and style – which makes up for it somewhat. The cheezy B-rated cliches are beginning to show themselves, between the evil scientist, the noir love story, and the over the top Russian hero.

I’m completely torn on how to rate this book, so I’m going to give it a 7. The art is strong, and the story is there, but the pacing flaws are there as well. The saving grace to the entire affair is that this is a fun comic book. It’s not meant to be laugh out loud funny, but enjoyed in the same way you take any of Campbell’s other endeavors… with your tongue firmly implanted in your cheek.

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