The Comic Queen

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Friday, September 24, 2004

The Amazing Screw-On Head Review

Dark Horse Comics $2.99
By Mark Mignola; Colors by Dave Stewart; Letters by Pat Brosseau

Originally published in May 2002, The Amazing Screw-On Head has been reprinted for the umpteenth time this week. I admit to picking it up just yesterday, as I am a newcomer to the Hellboy and Mignola universe. Hellboy, the movie, pulled me onto the bandwagon and I’ve been enjoying the ride since then. This book certainly doesn’t disappoint and I continue to look forward to picking up Mignola’s work.

The Amazing Screw-On Head is the story of, well, a screw-on head superhero. At the behest of President Lincoln, Screw-On Head goes to stop baddie Emperor Zombie from stealing an important jewel. Regular superhero shtick happens next with Mr. Head traveling to exotic locales to kick the crap out of the Emperor.

While the premise is your run-of-the-mill superhero tale, Mignola’s writing and sense of humor he infuses into the script makes all the difference. These are things that make this title stand out. There were many one-liners that made me laugh out loud, something that doesn’t happen too often when I’m reading comic books. Besides the fast easy jokes, there is underlying back-story that kept me both laughing and wondering. For example, how did Mr. Groin get his name? Oh the possibilities . . .

Besides great writing, Mignola creates and incredibly original character. It’s a robot head with a number of bodies to suit many situations that assists President Lincoln in instances of national security. It is definitely something these eyes have never seen or read and this brain has never contemplated. Much of Mignola’s work is like that. He takes what are regular comic book ideas and plot lines and turns them into something unique and exciting.

I’m also impressed with the art and more specifically the colors in this book. I like Mignola and Stewart’s choices. The book isn’t dark, but just a little macabre. The colors look like they’ve all got a bit of black or gray added to them. They definitely pull off an old fashioned look for a lot of the characters and settings. Statues look gothic, but not scary. It is a style that makes it stand out from other books.

The Amazing Screw-On Head has been reprinted a million times for a reason: it’s a high quality, entertaining read that you shouldn’t miss. I wasn’t disappointed and I bet you won’t be either.

Bottom Line: A

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