Monday, August 3, 2015

Puppet Master #3 Review and *SPOILERS*

Originally, I wanted to do the second issue of the Evil Dead 2 book today, but dopey me forgot that the book was bi-monthly, so instead we're going to be skipping a week and getting back to the Puppet Master series early.  Which is fine by me....... you know, one of my favorite horror film series and all.  Oh and in case you don't know, this is Just For The Hell Of It Mondays, where Weird Science, a normally all DC Comics website goes and does whatever they want...... You know, Just For The Hell Of It.  So let's check back into the Bodega Bay Inn and see what our tiny terrors are up to in this finale of the first story arc, "The Offering".

Written By: Shawn Gabborin
Art By: Michela De Sacco, Yann Perrelet
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 13, 2015
Publisher: Action Lab

When Bad Puppets Turn........Well, Not As Bad

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Welcome back to Bodega Bay, where as we saw in the last two issues of this three issue arc, a group of college friends decided to check in at the closed up, supposedly haunted hotel for a little fun and excitement, but as we've seen throughout the Puppet Master films, that's never a good idea.  In the days since our puppets disappeared from their hotel home, the people of the surrounding towns have come up with folk stories about the hotel's spirits and even began leaving dolls in the halls and rooms of Bodega Bay as a way to appease the ghosts of the past and as a way to keep them still, but apparently also to grant health.  I really dug this idea that the writer introduced here and I'm sure it's going to play a big role since we saw Corey confronted by his girlfriend Beth in the last issue, after he killed the last of their friends himself, with a belt of dolls wrapped around his waist.  Let's see what made Corey go cuckoo for coco puffs in this final installment of "The Offering".  let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with our "last girl" Beth, coming face to face with her boyfriend Corey, who's sporting a doll belt around his waste and a knife in his hand.  Yeah, Corey went and killed the last of their friends and with the puppets at his side, it seems that he needs to make one more sacrifice.  Beth, being a reasonable person, hits Corey with a crowbar and makes a run for it and after Corey gets up to find his very recently ex-girlfriend, he begins monologuing, so we all can find out his motivations in gutting his friends and replacing them with pint sized BFFs.  We find out that on the same day that Corey and Beth first met in college, where Corey actually ran into her, he had just found out that his mother had succumbed to cancer.  It might have ended there and Beth might have actually brought Corey back from the brink like he says she did, but when Corey found out that he had developed cancer as well......... desperate times call for desperate measures.  Knowing the legend of the Bodega Bay Inn, Corey began bringing doll after doll to the hotel in order to have his illness cured and again we have a part in here where things might not have turned out as dark as they have because Corey was about to give up on trying, when the puppets finally returned home.

In the first issue, we had a cold opener where we met a homeless guy who had decided to squat in the closed down hotel and we also saw him talking to a person that never appeared on panel.......that is until the puppets returned and Torch decided to go cajun style on his ass.  So yeah, the mystery person was Corey and after witnessing the puppets killing a dude, he gets it in his sick little mind that dolls aren't the real offering you have to make to these spirits in order to be cured.   No, instead they need a blood sacrifice and that's why we had him take his friends to this terrible place.  It wasn't enough though and Corey believes that he has to kill Beth as well to appease the puppets.  It's a good thing that we have reasonable puppets like Jester....... well, not reasonable, but it seems like whenever Jester has a feeling that something is off about what they're doing, the rest of the puppets rally around him and change their attitude.  Here we see that when the rest of the puppets are hunting for Beth under Corey's command and Jester remembers the small key chain doll that Beth left in the first issue and after he witnesses Corey stab her.......... Well, we have a very homage-y ending to Puppet Master 1 and 2.

In the end, while the puppets turn on Corey and begin tearing him apart, the puppet Decapitron comes to Beth and reveals that he is the original puppet master Andre Toulon, like we saw in Puppet Master 4 and 5 and he explains why things went the way they did.  Because of Corey's strong belief of the doll totems left behind for the puppets, the puppets themselves were forced to believe it and Corey became their master.  

Toulon offers his apologies, but simply saying "sorry" isn't enough for Beth and she demands as the new puppet master that Toulon transfer Corey into her key chain doll and when he does, they'll never hear from her again.  As the issue closes, we see that Beth has moved on with her life in the weeks that followed her nightmare weekend at Bodega Bay........ Well, moved on isn't exactly correct because we see that everyday when she returns home from work, she unravels a pieces of the key chain doll, making sure that Corey pays for what he did to her and her friends.

That's it for this issue of Puppet Master and the finale of The Offering.  While I loved the explanation for why Corey was doing what he was doing and why the puppets were following his charge, it all played out a little too "super villain-y" with Corey monologuing his motivations.  The homage to the endings of Puppet Master 1 and 2 was really appreciated with me being a fan and all and the actual ending with Beth seeking justice for what happened to her was really an excellent twist that I didn't see coming, but loved all the same.  This was a pretty good ending to what came off as a throwaway middle section to this story arc and since I really enjoyed the first issue, I guess this story arc in general was a decent read.  I would have liked a little more puppet play here, especially on Decapitron's part, but with a interesting story concept and great art all the way through, I'm happy that I read it.  Hopefully the next story is as strong as this and even more, I hope it surpasses it.

Bits and Pieces:

Due to cartoon-y monologuing, this finale to the first story arc isn't as strong as I would have liked, but it still managed to create something new to this long running series, while throwing an awesome homage of the films at the fans.  I loved the art in this book and I really loved the dark ending, but a good portion of the book was spent bringing readers up to speed about the motivations of the antagonist and it just wasn't really done in an interesting way.  Still a good read though and is totally worth your time and money.

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