A few weeks ago, Fangoria and Cinestate released the much-anticipated Puppet Master reboot…sequel…whatever you want to call it, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. As is often the case, the universe worked in near perfect, bloody serendipity, and Full Moon Comix has graced the horror world with even more puppet mayhem, this time with issue #2 of Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe, in which Dollman takes on our favorite murderous puppets…
…A majority of the team from issue #1 returns (minus artist Bridgit Connell). And just like in the first issue, we once again see Dollman in one main story, followed by a shorter piece, as he punches and shoots his way through the entire library of the Full Moon Entertainment creatures. The first story, titled Pulling Strings and written by Shawn Gabborin with art by Daniel Pascual, features Dollman attempting to beat the stuffing out of the Puppet Master puppets with hilarious results. The second story, entitled Animal Lover and written by Brockton McKinney with art by series newcomer Jason Strutz, gives us a peak at what the freak from Castle Freak has been up to as Dollman decides to pay an unwelcome visit.
Let’s go ahead and clear this up right away. If you’re going into a Full Moon comic with any familiarity with the Full Moon films, then you should know you shouldn’t be expecting Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #2 to be on the level of Watchmen. Dollman isn’t going to make you suddenly have an emotional epitome and sit back wondering on the philosophies of life. He isn’t going to move you, or make you cry, or scare you. But what he IS going to do is make you laugh and cheer at the nonsensical ways in which he obliterates the Full Moon universe. This is dumb entertainment at its finest. And that isn’t a rip on Full Moon or the creators of Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #2, but simply saying that this comic knows exactly what it is and revels in the 80s cheese which it so wonderfully reflects.
This time, Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #2 takes a much larger focus on Dollman in Pulling Strings. Instead of needing to focus on backstory and properly introduce Dollman, Gabborin is able to throw him right into the action and face off against the Puppet Master puppets. While issue #1 took its time in introducing Dollman, instead following a group of Satanists trying to raise the hellish toys of Demonic Toys, Pulling Strings has Dollman jump right into it. I’d like to say he “grows” as a character, but a man of his, er, stature, doesn’t have much room for growth. It just feels like we get to know more about him, because Gabborin gives us a lot more of Dollman and his snappy one liners this time. Seriously, watching Dollman is like watching a mini Arnold Schwarzenegger straight out of any one of his 80s action films. Gabborin and McKinney have perfectly captured the hardnosed voice of the tiny, alien cop.
Dollman is such a fun character, that it doesn’t matter that the stories in Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe are simplistic at the very least. In fact, they’re more like skits in which Dollman pops in, blows a bunch of shit up, and leaves piles of bodies in his wake. There’s really no rhyme or reason to what Dollman is doing, other than just wanting to kill every evil living thing on earth in the name of intergalactic justice. In that sense, Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #2 is what I imagine it would be like if Michael Bay shot a Full Moon film. Very little story, tons of action, and gallons of blood. And you know what? I’m more than okay with that. The series acts as a hilarious, bloody trek through the Full Moon universe, with much of the appeal in leaving fans wondering how their favorite villains will be dispatched next, and yes, Dollman gets plenty creative to keep the pages turning. It also helps that stories like Animal Lover act as pseudo sequels, with McKinney giving us a brief and terrifying look into what the Castle Freak has been up to, which is worth the price of admission alone.
Since this issue centralizes around the Puppet Master puppets, there isn’t nearly as much gore as in the previous issue, which is unfortunate because, being a Full Moon comic, excessive gore is to be expected, and contributed to the appeal of the first issue, though the second story, Animal Lover, does make up for this a bit with some chilling imagery from Strutz. That being said, Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe is still plenty enjoyable, and full of surprising, pint-sized laughs.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe is going to blow you away. Unless you’re a hardcore Full Moon fan, chances are, it won’t. But if you’re looking for a short, bloody good time that will allow you to sharpen your one-liner skills, then you won’t be disappointed by the puppet on puppet massacre that is Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #2.
By Matt Konopka