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Review: ‘Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight’ # 2

Wow just wow. Alex De Campi and Chris Peterson totally stick the landing to “Bee Vixens from Mars” in an incredibly paced issue loaded with fun, gore, and amazing dialogue. As you keep flipping the pages of ‘Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight’ your jaw will drop with just how well this team gets the appeal of old Grindhouse cinema. This is B movie horror at it’s best with almost non-stop action and a couple of surprises along the way.

WRITTEN BY: Alex De Campi
ART BY: Chris Peterson
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: November 6, 2013

It’s no secret that I enjoyed the first issue of “Bee Vixens from Mars.” Although a lot of it was pure set up; it was coupled with incredible dialogue and fantastic art. This month, all of that exposition is gone in favor of pure balls to the wall action. It’s a welcome addition to the book that goes over the top in all the right ways. There is nothing but fun to be had with this conclusion.

Making Garcia the secret protagonist all along was a wise choice. Jimmy was a fun man to follow, but in the end he felt like the same template hero we’ve seen on an adventure like this a thousand times before. Instead Garcia’s role is amped up significantly and her character is given some real moments to shine and Christ almighty she’s one helluva heroine. Just wait until she pops that shirt off.

Writer Alex De Campi understands the core appeal of grindhouse cinema: cheap laughs, over the top characters, gore, and stellar creatures. Every one of these elements is at play this month, and beautifully so. With each progressive beat De Campi makes sure to hit one of these pillars. Resulting in a near perfect pace for the conclusion of the story.

Chris Peterson’s art propels this book into the stratosphere. His depiction of the Bee Vixens remembers all the sexuality, but uses faces that are so menacing. The panel of a motorbike tumbling into the ground while severed heads move through the air in every direction is a thing of beauty. Peterson pushes it to the limit. The sheer amount of gore and brutality on display here would push any film’s budget through the ceiling. Like dear old Jimmy’s demise, my good god, what a fantastic display of disgusting creature effects. Those bee babies pouring from his mouth will travel with me in my psyche now and forever.

The final confrontation as depicted by Peterson is truly something to marvel at. De Campi finds a creative way for Garcia to eliminate the threat, and Peterson pulls it off with relative ease. The final pages remind you of everything that made this book great. The creative team sticks the landing with a collection of final panels that will disgust, excite, and make you laugh.

It’s admirable how good this second issue is. Really, the ability to communicate a story like this and not make it seem completely throwaway isn’t easy. De Campi and Peterson forget the typical confinements of the genre and leave them in the dust. They embrace Grindhouse to its fullest and pull off one of the most enjoyable comics I’ve read all year. I positively cannot wait to see what they do next.

Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls.



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