I Hate Fairyland Special Edition #1 Review: Gertrude Kills The Image Universe

Cover by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

I didn't pick up the I Hate Image Free Comic Book Day book. It didn't appeal to me. It was before I was working for Bleeding Cool. As such, this content was new to me all the way through.

So, Gertrude from Skottie Young's I Hate Fairyland goes on a warpath through Image properties and killing a lot of their major characters, including references to Spawn, The Walking Dead, Invincible, the Trees, The Wicked + The Divine, and Saga.

She cuts a bloody swath through these characters until reaching the Image partners and murdering them in the hopes it will allow her to escape from Fairyland.

So, it's Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, but way more concise.

You know references aren't jokes, right? I feel like that is something lost in the inundation of memes on the internet, but just referencing something isn't really a joke. You need to say something with the reference, do something clever with it, or just alter it in any way.

It's like saying someone looks like a celebrity. Just saying someone looks like Michael Fassbender for example isn't really a joke. Saying someone looks like Michael Fassbender from Frank after losing a fight with Ving Rhames could be a joke, depending on how this hypothetical person looks.

I Hate Fairyland Special Edition Art by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
I Hate Fairyland Special Edition Art by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu

In any case, this comic is thoroughly unappealing in the same way as Deadpool (the admittedly excellent film notwithstanding). It's just reference humor. When it's not reference humor, it's fart jokes, randomly maiming people, or just being generally unpleasant and hoping someone laughs.

The difference here is that even Deadpool comics manage to score a decent joke about comics culture, medium, business practices, etc. The I Hate Fairyland Special Edition doesn't even accomplish that.

I took on this comic because I saw a poster for I Hate Fairyland at a comic book store and thought it might be cool. It seemed reminiscent of Invader Zim, and that's one of my favorite cartoons of all time.

But Invader Zim has jokes that aren't just references to other Nickelodeon cartoons. In fact, the closest thing to a reference is Bloaty's Pizza Hog, Poop Cola, and Poop Dog. Beyond that, it never really succumbed to straight references.

I want to reiterate; they are just references. It's not reference humor. That would require a joke to be written. It's just references.

Now I know — Gertrude is just Deadpool. Presumably, the regular comic isn't just references, but she seems just to be an unfunny and pointlessly violent character who thinks she's really funny.

It also oddly reminded me of Groo the Wanderer, but not good.

Skottie Young's art style is at least mostly pleasant. There is a distinct style here that does work in the colorful and fairytale world of the regular Fairyland comics from what I've seen. Jean-Francois Beaulieu's color work complements that very well — except when the comic goes into more urban and noir-esque areas.

Anyway, give this one a hard pass. It's not funny. It's just a comic that is aware that its parent company publishes other properties while making the most surface level references to said properties.

It comes with an epilogue of other comic creators asking Skottie Young to put them in, including a naked Chip Zdarsky who explains to you that it's funny that he's naked because being naked is funny. It also has the scripts and some marginalia notes after that.

Also, the fact that this is a reprint of a Free Comic Book Day issue with a few extras that has the gall to charge more than the first issue to a Marvel crossover is pretty damn insulting.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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