It’s been far too long since I’ve seen a comic focused primarily on comedy. Sure, Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis will occasionally provide some serious laughs, but most comics are too caught up in their own melodrama and self-seriousness. Which is why The End Times of Bram and Ben is such a breath of fresh air in the comics landscape. And more than that, it’s damn funny stuff. It may be an atypical read, but this is yet another effort from Image comics that manages to provide top quality material right from its inception.
WRITTEN BY: James Asmus & Jim Festante
ART BY: Rem Broo
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE DATE: January 9th, 2013
“The End Times of Bram and Ben” follow two roommates, one of whom, Bram, happens to be transported to heaven when the rapture hits… and then immediately sent back. Apparently, heaven is rather prone to clerical errors. Ben, the more level-headed of the two, tries to wrap his head around the implications of the rapture, while Bram is more than content to simply take advantage of the situation (see, this is why Bram wasn’t supposed to get into heaven in the first place…). Together with their survivalist friend, they try to decide what their next steps should be, while unbeknownst to them, both the forces of heaven and hell are gauging their next moves as well, for the upcoming Armageddon.
Now maybe that sounds serious and over the top, but I assure you, this is anything but serious. I’m not going to spoil the laughs for you here – I find spoiling jokes to be a far greater sin than spoiling most plot points – but take my word for it; this is a hilarious comic. Of course, no matter how good the material is, it’s the delivery that sells a joke. To this end, artist Rem Broo does an excellent job selling James Asmus and Jim Festante’s lines, with superb character work and an appropriately light-hearted tone that still packs detail.
In all seriousness – an ironic qualifier if there ever was one – this is one of the best comics I’ve read in some time. It falls short of perfect because it does lack the gravity necessary to get a perfect score, but in virtually all other areas, this is a success. An astounding opening issue for “The End Times.”
Reviewed by – GeorgeShunick