This week shock rocker, film director, and comic book scribe Rob Zombie (“THE NAIL”, “THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO”) returns to the industry with his newest title “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK?!” from Image Comics. Like him or not, the scribe has become a fixture of the horror community, and many are looking forward to the title’s May 26th release date. So, for those of you who just can’t wait any longer, if you make the jump you can read the 9 page preview of the first issue that goes on-sale this Wednesday. Oh, and that whole “why you should care” thing is thrown in there, too.
“Rob Zombie returns with a dark dramady outlining the fantastic rise and spiraling decent of celebrity. Being in the right place at the right time isn’t always a good thing, as Baron Von Shock finds out first hand. His sudden rise to fame as a television horror host meets with unexpected results. Baron Von Shock delivers a roller coaster ride of emotion that only Rob Zombie can deliver.”
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
The last time we saw Rob Zombie do a comic book was with the horror comedy, ‘THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO’. Before than the rock front man turned director, turned comic book scribe had worked on several other titles including ‘BIGFOOT’ and ‘THE NAIL. (The ladder being possibly his best attempt at the genre.) With his music, Zombie is unarguably a legend, both as a solo artist and with his original band White Zombie. As a director he is an acquired taste, causing conflict and heated debate amongst genre fans all over the world. And as a comic book writer, well, the jury is still put on that one. With such a small sampling of work, and a hit or miss library, it is hard to pass judgment. But with his newest offering “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK?!” the scribe is daring to buck the trend of over the top gore, violence, and depravity, and tell a more human story.
Thus far from what we have heard and seen of the new title it looks to be much lighter on the blood and guts, and more heavy on the character study. Character stories have been something Zombie has always flirted with, and he came the closest with his re-imagining of John Carpenter’s classic “HALLOWEEN” when he decided to give the iconic slasher his own back-story. For whatever you may think of that particular subject, it is blatantly obvious that the writer has a knack for writing very interesting characters with plenty of layers to sift through. But whether or not “Baron Von Shock” becomes his next Capt. Spaulding will depend upon whether or not the author can work his magic on the page as he did on film, by delivering to his fans a new set of horror icons.
Artistically “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK?!” isn’t anything too fancy. Donny Hadiwidjaja does a good job of offering readers a more ‘bare minimum’ style of art than we are used to in Zombie’s other, more stylized, stories. From this it is again fairly obvious that we are being lead to focus more on the what the characters are saying, thinking, and feeling, more than we are supposed to be waiting for the next throat to be slashed.
All in all “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK?!” is an interesting experiment for Rob Zombie, and a very interesting departure for the scribe. He has openly stated that he wishes to spread out into different genres while utilizing different aesthetics to tell his tales of the macabre. Let’s all just hope that this one doesn’t disappoint us.
“WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BARON VON SHOCK” Issue #1 Drops This Wednesday From Image Comics! (MSRP-$3.99)