Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Alice Cooper: The Last Temptation, by Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli
(pb; 1994: 3-issue comic book miniseries, based on Alice Cooper's album of the same name, which was released in July 1994. Dave McKean did the cover art on both the album and the comic books.)
The plot: Steven - a scared teenager Alice Cooper wrote about in his 1975 album, Welcome to My Nightmare, and its more experimental, 2011 sequel album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare - is drawn to a mysterious theatre that appears to be a ghost building, its staged, icky horrors hosted and promoted by the equally mysterious, unnamed Showman (embodied as Alice Cooper).
The Showman's revealed horrors are based in creepshow rot and failed adulthood, something the Showman promises he can spare Steven from.
The Last Temptation is best read as a fun, s/light accompaniment to Cooper's fun, pop-catchy album: a lightweight, rock 'n' roll (and Alice Cooper-ized) work that mines many of the same themes Ray Bradbury utilized in his 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes.
I wasn't impressed by Michael Zulli's (interior) artwork, but it wasn't off-putting, either. It works, for what it is, but it isn't nearly as impressive as Dave McKean's visual presence, as seen on the three comic book covers and Temptation's album cover.
The Last Temptation is worth reading, if you're a fan of Alice Cooper, or looking for mildly horrific/childhood-themed comic book amusement(s).
This miniseries was later compiled in two different-cover graphic novels, a 1996 paperback version (The Compleat Alice Cooper: Incorporating the Three Acts of Alice Cooper: The Last Temptation) and, later, a hard cover version (The Last Temptation).