Elvis Presley and his bodyguard, Johnny Smack, are a pair of monster hunters in their times between concerts. Aman calling himself the Colonel comes to Vegas on behalf of President Richard Nixon, and Elvis must serve his country and join a team of others to defend the U.S. from a new threat: The Cosmic Bloodsuckers.
I am quite fond of the film Bubba Ho-Tep. It's ridiculous, strange, fun, and Bruce Campbell is a national treasure. While Bruce is absolutely one of the primary elements that makes that film work, he's not the only one. A B-Movie tone and some surprisingly genuine character moments were also present.
Unfortunately, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers is missing Bruce Campbell, the B-Movie charm, and the functional character moments.
This comic takes itself deadly seriously and doesn't know the meaning of the word "fun." While the visuals and premise evoke a bizarre micro budget monster flick, the comic wants you to believe Elvis Presley is war-weary and desperate to live a quiet life.
It also wants you to understand how this universe is set up ad nauseum, which is far from necessary. Elvis is fighting vampire-like creatures for Nixon; that doesn't require an in-depth backstory.
It almost feels incidental that this is Elvis at all, so far removed from the larger-than-life personality is this comic.
Tadd Galusha's artwork is more in line with what one would expect of this comic. It is a style fitting of comic books; characters have slightly exaggerated features, the world is full of detailing, and emotions are expressed well. Ryan Hill's color art is well-suited to the visuals of this comic too. The world is vibrantly colored even if it is darker to coincide with the horror vibe.
Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #1 is a painfully serious and, consequently, dull read. It wants to be a story of an old and war-weary Elvis in the autumn of a life fighting monsters, but the premise is too ridiculous to take this seriously. I'm not saying such a tale is impossible to tell; it's just that this one doesn't succeed in doing so. As such, I must say to give this comic a hard pass this Wednesday.