The 1990s were one of the
worst decades in comic book history, during which time many comics would
succeed or fail based on the name of the artist, or whatever crappy foil
pop-up glow-in-the-dark cover gimmick it happened to have. Story took a
back seat to boring, derivative art featuring big-busted women in skimpy
costumes who were constantly under the impression they were posing for a
swimsuit photo shoot, or muscle-bound manly men, doing manly men kinds
of things like wearing spandex and punching each other in the face a
The DOOM comic (a free convention giveaway) based on the highly
popular classic first-person shooter PC horror game is particularly
exemplary of this craptastic era. I was blissfully unaware of its
existence until recently, so I'd like to thank the handful of readers
who recommended I do a Longbox piece on it, particularly Robert Frank
for actually sending me a copy of the book.
There may be no price tag
on this cover, but believe me, you'll pay for reading it. You'll pay.
The top of the cover says
"Consider yourself WARNED!! This book contains scenes of graphic
violence!" but I think it would have been much more helpful if they had
instead cautioned me that "This book is really, really bad. Seriously,
it's so horrendous that you'll probably roll it up and stab it through
your eye after you're done reading it, that is if you can actually
describe scanning your eyes across this wretched pile of horse shit and
looking at letters that have randomly been jumbled into words ‘reading'.
It's a free book, and you still got totally ripped off." But
then, I suppose if they'd written all that on there, they wouldn't have
had as much room to show our nameless space marine shooting at zombies
with a gun that looks like it has a tiny oil drum stuck on the end of
Our story (if indeed it can be referred to as such) opens with the space
marine protagonist from the games shouting "Dynamite!" as he punches
through the guts of a devilish imp summoned from the depths of Hell (for
those of you who don't know, the games can be summed up as "demons are
summoned onto Mars moon base. Chaos ensues.") I suppose this is supposed
to illustrate what a badass he is, but all it made me think of was JJ "Dyn-o-mite!"
Evans from "Good Times", and I can't help thinking that the comic
probably would have been far more entertaining if he were the
I saw a guy do that at a
party once. It was awkward.
As he punches a hole
through the imp, he's thinking to himself "Who's a man and a half! I'm a
man and a half! Berserker packin' man and a half!" which is probably the
exact same thing he would be saying aloud if he were having sex with it
instead of killing it. Our hero then proceeds to yell at the corpse for
a bit while shaking his spine in the air, informing it that he's got "a
handful of vertebrae and a heedful of mad!" while also pointing out that
he doesn't even need a gun, because they are in fact, for wusses.
"Do you hear me, spine?
Do you!?? No, I guess you DON'T, cuz you don't have any ears! HA!"
He is interrupted from his
outburst of eloquence when he spots a nearby "important looking door"
that appears for all the world to be a mere blank spot on the wall.
Damn, look at that
eyebrow! Looks like a caterpillar crawling over his eye!
This remarkable lack of
door-like qualities does not deter our hero(?) at all from kicking a
hole in the metal wall. Because he's all hopped up on a berserker pack
and is capable of great feats of strength, much like those yuppies on
cocaine-fueled rampages you hear about in the news all the time.
Frank always hated using
doors, preferring instead to make his own entrance.
Upon constructing said
door in the wall with his foot, our space marine finds himself face to
face with a cyberdemon, the guts of which he fully intends to "rip and
tear and rip and tear" out. And look! The cyberdemon was kind enough to
leave his guts hanging conveniently out in the open for our space
"Say there, little guy,
you don't happen to know where I could
find a doctor, do you? My guts are all kind of spilling out."
Our space marine is very
observant as well, delightfully noting that since the cyberdemon is so
huge, he must have huge guts to go with his hugeness! (He can also see
the guts hanging out right in front of his face).
Then there was the time
that Frank came home screaming, his hands covered in
blood and feces. Yeah, we pretty much stopped hanging out with Frank
And with a "choo choo cha
boogie" the marine informs Mr. Cyberdemon that the night train is
a'comin', and with a mighty "bonk" it does just that! Only our space
marine seems a bit troubled, as the night train seems to have been held
up at that station and the guts are still safely dangling within our
Bonk? A fist hits a pillow
of soft squishy intestines and the sound effect we get from that is
Oh no! It seems that our
space marine is coming down from his berserker pack fuelled high, losing
all of his super strength and mind-crippling insanity with it! Just what
I like to see: a comic with a message! "Kids, don't do drugs, because if
you do you may bite off more than you can chew and try to take on a
cyberdemon with your bare hands, and well, that's just kind of stupid."
"Shit man, I got the
shakes bad! I'll do anything for another hit—suck your demon
At this point the marine
realizes he's screwed and runs away in search of a gun. Whatsamatter,
space marine? I thought guns were for wusses? He charges down the
hallway and enters a room containing three zombies with guns! As they
shoot at him, he spots a chainsaw, "the great communicator" on the floor
and makes a lunge for it!
The chainsaw: possibly the
most useful tool you can find on a space station.
He picks it up and makes
another joke about the chainsaw relating to communication! Oh, space
marine! You're such a card!
Not quite as elegant as a
lightsaber, but it sure is loads messier!
The space marine then
decapitates the zombies with his chainsaw, and is it just me, or does
the one in the middle look a little like Michael Myers?
Down at the Sweeny Todd
Barber School, you'll learn
all kinds of cutting edge hair-trimming techniques!
After dispatching the
zombies, space marine now has a shotgun, but that's not enough. He
decides to search for a bigger gun and soon finds himself in a pitch
black room. He decides to make his own light with the muzzle flash of
the shotgun by constantly shooting into the room.
This flashlight substitute
is frowned upon in many corners of society.
After several moments of
firing incessantly into the room, the space marine has the brilliant
idea to check for a light switch next to the door, and upon hitting it,
he sees that he's inadvertently killed an entire room full of monsters
with his light show!
Frank realizes with a
chill that he's been sleepwalking again,
and those weren't really zombies at all.
Upon seeing this, he
states that he's never had more respect for any object in the universe
than this here shotgun...that is, until he spots a chaingun in the pile
Look at that, the blood
miraculously switched to his other hand!
He's so happy to see the
chain gun that he even makes a little rhyme when he picks it up!
Unfortunately for our
space marine, he has failed to notice
the bright yellow colors that clearly identify this as a toy gun.
While he's busy
masturbating over the chaingun, however, an imp sneaks up behind him and
spits fire on his shoulder!
Don't worry! It's not as
bad as it looks. The artist forgot
to draw him with any burns after this panel anyway.
But oh, he's pissed now!
He tells the imp that it's stupid—stupid and dead and proceeds to
blow it away with the chaingun. Feeling like an ultimate badass now that
he's got the chaingun, he runs into another zombie-filled room and asks
them if they think they can get him. This leads to a rare moment of
reflection, as the space marine pauses to consider if these zombies and
demons can even think at all. It only lasts a moment before he
mows them all into red paste, however.
Space Marine Guy ponders
the philosophical ramifications of
whether or not zombies think before he turns them into pizza.
No sooner does he clean
out this room than a demon charges him, causing him to think as
well as exclaim "Ooof!" as the demon slams into him.
Not even Space Marine's
days as star quarterback of the
Midtown High team could prepare him for this kind of tackle.
But unfortunately for them
both, the demon is a bit of a klutz, and he knocks them both into an
open pit filled with green liquid the marine immediately identifies as
radioactive waste! The marine isn't distracted from his purpose,
however, and blows the demon in half with the chaingun.
After falling into the vat
of toxic waste, the space marine had no choice but
to move to Gotham City and commit gimmicky, overly theatrical crimes.
Then, in what is easily
the most hilarious scene in the comic, the space marine climbs out of
the pit and delivers a moving soliloquy about the dangers of leaving
toxic waste just sort of lying around in open pits. He's thinking of the
children and their future! He also notices with slight concern that he's
now radioactive, but he can't focus on that now, because he's out of
ammo for the chaingun!
"Alright! With this slime
glove I'll totally gross out all the girls!"
Using a teleporter to get
to another part of the base, he spots a plasma rifle laying on the
floor. But between him and his fiery salvation are two floating
cacodemons! Sweet Christmas!
Space Marine was confident
that his armor + 2 vs. beholders would protect him well.
Through a series of
carefully timed acrobatic maneuvers, he manages to leap and tumble his
way past their fireballs and get to the plasma rifle, allowing him to
burn the demons into oblivion. He then leaves that room and notes with
some amazement that he's found himself in a completely different place!
Yes, space marine, that's what normally happens when one moves around.
He also can't help but notice that the room is filled with stupid
barrels of radioactive waste.
Each one of those barrels
was a zombie movie just waiting to happen.
Just then he's attacked by
an invisible spectre (and how he knows this is beyond me), and how on
earth are you supposed to fight a supernatural opponent you can't even
see? Well, space marine figures the best way to do that is to blow the
whole room sky high by shooting one of the barrels of radioactive waste.
Amazingly he emerges unscathed, but perhaps that's because he's now
radioactive himself, and so standard comic/video game logic dictates
that he's now immune to all radioactive effects, including the fire
brought about by the exploding barrels of radioactive waste.
"Haw! It's like shooting
barrels in a barrel!"
He enters another door to
discover the big gun (known in the games as the BFG-9000, AKA
"Big Fucking Gun"), but as is typical in video games, in order to get to
the prize he has to wade his way through a veritable sea of monsters and
Look at that, the demons
are even fighting each other! They're totally
ignoring video game logic that states all bad guys have to team up on
He finally reaches the gun
after killing everything in the room, and it's apparently quite a
religious experience as he picks up the gun reverently.
How to Spot Insanity 101:
If you hear an angelic chorus and see a beam of
light shining down from heaven when you pick up a gun, you're probably
Uhh... evidently he
really loves the gun.
Why don't you fucking
marry it if you love it so much?
A cyberdemon (presumably
the one from the beginning of the comic) disturbs his reverie, though he
quickly dispatches it with a single shot from his BFG. Teaching us that
with perseverance, anything is possible!
"Hey, can you hold on a
minute? This thing takes a while to charge..."
The comic ends abruptly
and anticlimactically, as the space marine stands victorious over the
fallen cyberdemon and decides that earth is going to need a strong
defender with the biggest, baddest gun in the world to protect it from
more demons, and that protector may as well be him.
Little did Space Marine
know that this picture would adorn the
walls of the Demon Hunt Club for hundreds of years thereafter.
Yeah, that's it. It just
sort of ends there like that. Which is just as well, because if I had to
endure much more of that, I'm not sure what kind of long-term
psychological damage it could have done. So there you have it. If for
some godawful reason you decide you actually want to read this thing for
yourself, scans of it exist online, and they're not hard to find
(there's also a "dramatic reading" with sound effects). But if you ask
me, you may as well just stab your eye out now with a piece of rolled up
paper and save yourself the trouble.