Reviews

Review – Baby Badass Volume 1 (Action Lab)

Baby Badass Volume 1
Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 7/10
    7/10
  • Overall - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
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Summary

Writer: D.E. Schrader
Artist: Tim Larsen
Letters: Tim Larsen
Rating: Mature
Published by: Action Lab
Release: February 14, 2018

A sex-starved killing machine trapped in a baby’s body, what more do you need? In this age of the anti-hero, Baby Badass fits the bill. Fast, sexy and downright fun!

Blood, Boobs, Profanity and Baby Badass

I hate to be late to any party but in the case of Baby Badass, it’s better late than never. While at HeroesCon 2018, I was fortunate to meet D.E. Schrader, the co-creator of Baby Badass. He was able to provide some insight into the creative process behind his book. It was then that I knew I had to read it for myself.

In a post-apocalyptic future, life resembles more of a nightmare than a life. In the United States Under God, you’re either predator or prey. Those that fall somewhere in between are the fortunate ones. Life is hard and dangerous, just like in any post-apocalyptic future.

Meet Joey, a rare commodity in the wastelands. Joey is a virgin, and a beautiful one, at that. Her innocence is only overshadowed by her looks and her extraordinary bad luck. Joey’s life changes in the blink of an eye when she meets her “Little Angel.” The two unlikely companions are chased across the wasteland by a murderous gang of psychos as they search for Baby Badass’s identity.

Baby Badass Volume 1 (Action Lab) Cover by Tim Larsen
Baby Badass Volume 1 (Action Lab) Cover by Tim Larsen

Baby Badass is published under Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint., which is populated with titles like Zombie Tramp, The Gingerdead Man, Holy F*ck and more. A lot of comic fans look past these titles due to their mature themes, racy covers, and sometimes ludicrous titles. But if you look past some obvious flaws and give these books a chance, you can be pleasantly surprised.

Writing

Having met D.E. Schrader in person, it’s hard to imagine from his unassuming look that he was responsible for the craziness that is Baby Badass. The story is fast-paced and contains a lot of action. There are times that things move a little too fast for the art to adequately keep up. Keeping in mind that reading a book in trade paperback form instead of a single issue really affects the pacing of the story for the reader.

Regardless, Schrader’s story moves at a very quick pace and you can sometimes get lost. The story itself is silly and brutal, as one might expect from a book of this nature. That isn’t a bad thing if you’re not expecting highbrow entertainment.

It is obvious that Schrader has a story to tell. Character development could use a little work, especially in the first couple of issues. However, after speaking with Schrader I know he has a well-thought-out story in mind and patience will be rewarded.

With three general plot lines being juggled at the same time, Schrader does a great job at handling them in spite of the fast pace. Baby Badass’s origin story is sprinkled throughout and serves to be the most anticipated aspect of the book. Just where did this murderous little homunculus come from?

Art

Artwork, for me, is the hardest part about reviewing a comic. Not being an artist myself, it’s almost hypocritical of me to judge someone else’s artwork. I can’t say I am a fan of Tim Larsen’s work on this. Larsen handles every aspect of the art on this, including the lettering, and it could certainly use some work.

The colors are vibrant and well done, but the art itself is quite disorganized and inconsistent. The lettering is also an issue; it’s too small. Given that Schrader has a fair amount of dialogue, the small letters make it difficult to read.

That’s not to say that Larsen’s art is completely without merit. It is very reminiscent of Heavy Metal in its look, which serves this type of story very well. The characters are sometimes too undefined where clarity would have served better. The art looks like it was rushed in some places and neglected in others. It is a distraction from an otherwise fun adventure.

Overall

Baby Badass Volume 1 isn’t what you’d expect from the cover. Escapism is what comic books are all about and this is what Baby Badass is. It’s rude and bloody and so much fun. These grindhouse style books generally get a bad rap, but most of them deserve more credit than that. Schrader and Larsen are on the cusp of something good and it’s nice to see that Action Lab gave them a home.

When it comes to creators like Dan Mendoza, Brock McKinney, and D.E. Schrader, they don’t follow the rules. Their books are rough, sexy and grimy. That doesn’t make them something to overlook. Don’t let a mature rating scare you away from good storytelling.

Baby Badass may be a little rough around the edges, but give me a comic that is fun to read and I’m a fan for life. This is a solid book that provides honest and mindless entertainment.


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About the author

Bryan Brown

The founder of Word of the Nerd and semi-fearless leader. Bryan is an all around nerd, from Star Trek to comic books to collecting action figures. If it's nerd related, he's into it or at least has an opinion on it.

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