Friday, 30 March 2012

‘Axe Cop: Volume Three’ – Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle (Dark Horse Books)

So, yeah… I was in need of some laughs and ‘A Game of Groans’ raised absolutely no chuckles whatsoever. It was more of a wasted afternoon than anything else and I needed a laugh more than ever after putting the book down. What was a Graeme to do?
Luckily for me, I had a copy of the latest ‘Axe Cop’ book set aside for just this purpose. A sure-fire sanctuary of comedy in hard times :o) After all, I’ve had fun with everything else, featuring Axe Cop, that I’ve read so I couldn’t go wrong here… could I?

The thing was… I wasn’t so sure. We’re into ‘Volume Three’ territory now and a joke can only be funny for so long before it, erm… stops. Malachai is also a little older now and I couldn’t help but wonder how that would affect the story lines. Would it still be a game that becomes a comic or would things start to get a little more ‘self aware’? Once it stops being a game then the whole point of Axe Cop goes out of the window.

So… I found myself looking forward to the read but there was a little trepidation as well. It turns out that I needn’t have worried too much. There’s a whole load of material on the Axe Cop web site that still needs to be caught up with and Volume Three mines that wellspring of ‘child logic’ where anything goes and hidden lasers can always deal with the toughest of troubles. Anything goes and sometimes the jokes were a little more hit and miss because of this, for me anyway. I wasn’t too keen on the ‘Axe Cop Presents’ extras which didn’t have the larger than life presence of Axe Cop. On the whole though I was laughing more often than not. Even (especially?) at what poor Uni-Baby had to go through while Axe Cop and Dinosaur Soldier were babysitting her.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I wish Ethan Nicolle was my big brother and if they ever need another member for Axe Cop’s team then I’m available most days :o)

There are moments though that make you laugh and then think, ‘hang on, that’s actually quite deep…’ Take Army Chihuahua for example…

Army Chihuahua – ‘That was the day I gained the ability to turn into a Chihuahua when I am ready to fight.’

Axe Cop – ‘Wait, so you can turn back into a man any time you want?’

Army Chihuahua – ‘Only when I am not ready to fight… Which is almost never.’

An insight into the human condition… via a Chihuahua, which is the ‘Axe Cop’ series in a nutshell really.

‘Ask Axe Cop’ is the real meat of the book as far as I am concerned with a whole round of quick fire questions and answers that always raised a chuckle at least. The team up with Doctor McNinja was nothing short of awesome and will have me checking out Doctor McNinja in a lot more detail very soon.

A shorter review than normal then and maybe that’s indicative of where the series is going in the long term; there is only so far you can say about the same joke after all. Right now though, there’s plenty enough to keep me laughing and reading and that's what matters.

Eight and a Half out of Ten

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