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Written By: Shawn Gabborin Art By: Michela Da Sacco, Yann Perrelet Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: October 28, 2015
Publisher: Action Lab: Danger Zone
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Everybody seems to have a problem with Mondays but here at Weird Science, Monday means I get to dive into my horror obsession and continue my reviews of Puppet Master and who doesn't love Puppet Master?...... You naysaying bastards better keep your mouths shut. That's right it's Just For The Hell of It Mondays and the last time we took a look at Puppet Master, our puppets made a deal with the psychic Madam Adon to transfer their souls out of their wooden vessels and into actual bodies. All she asked for in return was the puppets themselves and not seeing any reason to hold on to them, Andre Toulon agreed to the deal. Everything seemed fine and actually felt like a fitting end for these tortured souls who for almost eighty years were forced to live out their days under the whim of different Puppet Masters, never finding peace. Well, they aren't finding the peace they were hoping for here either. While our characters tried to get back to something that resembled living, it seems that the puppets weren't done with them yet and one by one we saw them murdered by their former bodies and at the end of last issue, it seems that they have actually gone to hell........ which is a crazy to think of in this series. So let's see what Action Labs has in store for us with this issue and if it continues to be as awesome as the rest of this series has been so far. Let's check out the finale to Rebirth!
Our issue begins with the yet to be attacked Andre and Elsa Toulon, but believe me, that won't last too long. After Andre pays Hans (Jester) a visit and sees that his friend has been Rube Goldberg-ed to death, he immediately rushes home to make sure that Elsa is okay........... she's not. As soon as Andre left, Elsa was attacked by Decapitron and even though she was able to get the upper hand on this puppet, she was no match for her former vessel Ms. Leech......... Who I really wish would have stayed dead after the Puppet Master 2 movie because...... leeches? Come on, even though I love this film series and can look past a whole lot of nonsense, I've never understood how or why Ms. Leech survived that wood burning stove she was shoved into in Puppet Master 2 or why Ms. Leech is threatening at all with her leech regurgitation...... Okay, rant over. Elsa meets her end when she's drowned in a tub full of leeches by the combined force of Decapitron and Ms. Leech. With Andre finding the woman he loves now dead, he sees no other option than simply giving into his fate and welcomes his death from Decapitron.
Like I talked about in the opener about these characters never finding peace, Andre wakes up with his friends in what they're calling "Hell". While in my mind, Hell isn't quite right in describing this place, it's close enough because we find out that they have actually been transported to the realm of Sutekh. If you're not familiar with this demon, then you totally have to go watch Puppet Master 4 & 5 because Sutekh was the antagonist of those films and came after our puppets and their master at the time Rick Myers for stealing his secrets of life. While it doesn't completely jive with the end of Puppet Master 5 because we saw that the vessel Sutekh created to enter our world had his head crushed by Rick Myers' shoe, I still dig that we see Decapitron further that story by using the Totem's head as a way to open a gateway to Sutekh's realm to make sure that the demon was actually dead.......which he was, but Decapitron found out that Sutekh had a son named Anapa, who would now take control of his father's kingdom and secrets. The kicker to all this is Anapa grants Decapitron a reprieve in taking his soul because of the great service that the puppets and him have done by killing Sutekh, but Anapa warns that if he ever sees him again, his soul will become forfeit. So that's all well and good, but here we find our....... I guess I can call them our heroes back in the realm of Anapa and that shit can't be good.
This next bit I find kind of confusing, but I'll relay what I think I understand. While our heroes are trapped in Anapa's realm, we still have one former puppet among the land of the living and he's the most enigmatic of all. That's right I'm talking about the former puppet Torch, who has managed to subdue his former vessel and craft himself a flamethrower in order to confront Madam Adon. Torch's identity has always been a mystery to Puppet Master fans and in this series we found out that he was a Nazi youth named Erich and after he kills the people that Madam Adon hired to take up the roles of the puppets for her murder spree against our main characters, Madam Adon kind of references that Anapa might actually be Erich's father and Erich seems to reinforce this by saying that he hears him in his dreams. Now that's all well and good, but when Erich torches himself in order to be reunited with and save his family, it comes off as if Andre and Elsa Toulon are actually his parents......... Now as the story progresses, it's kind of obvious that the latter is true, but Erich's interaction with Madam Adon were definitely strange. Anyway, Erich goes to Anapa and tells him that if the demon returns his family to their puppet bodies that they will take on the seven tasks that Anapa has whispered to Erich in his dreams. Of course the rest of the group have their apprehensions about returning to a life of wood, but after Erich explains that the puppets are too powerful to fall in the wrong hands.......... and the fact that if they don't they'll be stuck in hell, our characters get on the trolley and Anapa knowing that they'll now be in his debt for sparing them, sends our heroes back to their puppet bodies.
In the end after Erich's attack, we see that Madam Adon is trying to put Bodega Bay in her rear view mirror, but it looks like she wasn't fast enough....... Well, that and she would have just been killed later because while she was trying to pack the puppets up to leave, they came to life and murdered the hell out of her in proper Puppet Master finale style.
Our puppets leave to go on their next adventure, but as the issue closes we see that Anapa is playing the long game and had Madam Adon in his service the whole time. Sometime during her death it looks like she transferred her soul into a puppet of her own and we leave this issue knowing that an agent of Anapa walks the Earth, who might have a score to settle with our main characters.
That's it for this issue of Puppet Master and even though I loved this story-line that put our puppets in actual human bodies and the fact that Shawn Gabborin tied this story into the events we saw in Puppet Master 4 & 5...... I wish we would have been able to see a little bit more...... Yeah, I'm selfish like that and always want more of the things I enjoy, but here we finally have our characters being able to talk and being able to let us know what's going on with them and besides for the bare minimum of wanting to get on with their lives, we didn't find out much more about them than things some of us learned from the trading cards from the 90's........ except Torch that is because I love the fact that he's actually Andre and Elsa Toulon's son and finding out about his true origin is kind of like fulfilling a quest that I started twenty-five years ago. Helping me along with that quest and wowing me throughout this issue was the fantastic art and colors that really brought this story to life and even went above and beyond in actually looking like the aftermath of the puppets and Sutekh's fight at the end of Puppet Master 5. Even though I haven't watched the flick in awhile, the art was able to transport me right there and that's amazing to me.
Bits and Pieces:
The Rebirth story-line concludes here and does a damn fine job in creating a new and interesting story involving our puppets, while connecting it to a story from the Puppet Master film franchise and even went above and beyond in answering a burning question that all Puppet Master fans have wondered about for years. Add all of this with fantastic art all the way through and you have yourself one hell of a comic, that's only drawback is that there wasn't more of it to really get into who these puppets are beyond their original names and occupations. The real selling point of this series in general is Shawn Gabborin's ability to weave new stories from threads tying this comic series to the film franchise and as a fan, that's beyond appreciated.