The End Times of Bram & Ben #2 (of 4)
Co-Created & Written by James Asmus & Jim Festante
Co-Created and Penciled by Rem Broo
Colors by Overdrive Studio
Letters by crank!
Review by Joey Braccino
As I said in my review of the debut issue, The End Times of Bram & Ben is the pinnacle of irreverence. Of all things holy (literally and figuratively), James Asmus and Jim Festante choose lampoon the Rapture itself, weaving the most serious constructs from the Judeo-Christian faith into the most ludicrous of situations. Last issue, I voiced some concerns about a few jokes that crossed over the line between satirical and distasteful, but overall found the new series promising, original, and generally hilarious. With issue #2, Asmus and Festante have worked past some of that initial shock-value set-up and moved further into the characters and action of the plot. In doing so, the satire can truly shine.
Issue #1 ended with Bram declaring his “candidacy for Antichrist.” Issue #2 deals with the (hysterical) fallout from said announcement. Only in satire can you convert a campaign for Antichrist into a metaphor for America’s political system. I won’t go into how that punch-line hits, but I will say that when it does, it quickly becomes apparent that Festante and Asmus have much more in mind than just parodying religiosity.
Rem Broo’s stylized pencils are perfectly suited to Asmus & Festante’s quick-witted script. The exaggerated cartooning style works for the joking-heads scenes as well as the absurdly kinetic battle sequence between a demon and angel. Seriously. That happens in this book. And you thought it was just jokey-jokes and doodly-doos.
Definitely check it out. With the schlock-for-shock from the first issue out of the way, Asmus, Festante, and Broo can really settle into the satire of End Times. And settle in they do with a comic that is refreshingly hilarious and intensely intelligent in its parody.