The comic book industry was a very different place in the 1990’s. It was a time of big ridiculous things. There were big muscles, with extra layers of muscles added on. There were big belt pouches, lots of big belt pouches. There were bust lines big enough to generate their own field of gravity, which is probably how most of them stayed up. It was the time of the “bad girls” of comics. It was a general term used to describe the many large chested and skimpy outfit wearing lady characters of the era. Perhaps the most infamous offender of the “bad girls” trend was Chaos Comics.
A lot has happened since the 90’s and the Chaos Comics lineup of characters are now all together in a new series from Dynamite. Well everyone but the lineup’s former lead character Lady Death, it seems there are still some issues to be sorted out between creator Brian Pulido and other parties over her.
Since Lady Death can’t appear in this series she is replaced by the blue skinned Mistress Hel who will serve as the main antagonist. Purgatory, the red skinned devil looking vampire, and second most famous lady of Chaos Comics old lineup, is the first character we are introduced to. She is pretty irredeemably evil but she does not want to see the world destroyed and it seems she and Mistress Hel are old enemies. Then there is Evil Ernie. Of all the Chaos characters Evil Ernie always seemed the most stupid to me. He was just too ridiculous to be taken seriously and yet somehow this series manages to completely redeem him in just two pages. This version of Evil Ernie hunts sinners and is able to communicate with Mistress Hel when he kills them. Also it turns out that evil smiley face logo thing was an actual character who lives on Evil Ernie’s hat, so that’s a thing. I am just kind of amazed that they managed to take Evil Ernie and make him a scary supernatural force instead of the caricature of 90’s “edginess” that he used to be. Finally we are reintroduced to the vampire assassin Chastity. Chastity is the only Chaos Comics character I am at all invested in because she is the only one whose series I read back in the day. She is the only Chaos character who was not an “extreme” anti-hero. Sure she was an assassin but it looked she just killed other vampires who were evil and she seemed like a pretty normal person otherwise. When we meet her here she is being forced to work for Purgatory. It turns out that Purgatory is holding Chastity’s boyfriend hostage but if she can kill Evil Ernie and help her defeat Mistress Hel they will be set free.
The series also introduces us to a new group of supernatural characters called The Chosen. They consist of a demon guy, an undead guy, a sexy vampire lady, a sexy necromancer lady, and their boss is a werewolf. When we first see them they are rescuing a bunch of girls who were on their way to be a meal for Purgatory. They rescue a girl with blonde dreadlocks who can see the future and has a vision that lets everyone know that Mistress Hel is coming to destroy the world. I am guessing there is more to this future seeing girl that we will find out later. Also there was a quick two page interlude of a guy in an abandoned mental hospital doing experiments on himself, so who knows that that was all about or when it will become relevant.
The 90’s were a time when everything was “totally-extreme-edgy-sexy” and for many of us Chaos Comics was the epitome of that trend at its worst. And now those characters have been put into a story that has the potential to be really interesting. Will this series redeem the comic industry of the 90’s? No, nothing can redeem that but I will keep reading and report back later on how this series turns out.