The King Leads A Crack Team Of Monster Hunters In Bubba Ho-Tep And The Cosmic Bloodsuckers #1

by Brendan M. Allen

From the mind of creator Joe R. Lansdale comes a prequel to the cult-classic film! President Nixon has discovered an alien threat, and he knows there’s only one man he can reach out to for help: Elvis Presley. But will Elvis be enough to defeat a horde of Cosmic Blood-Suckers?

It’s been sixteen years since Bubba Ho-tep was unleashed on the world. Back in 2002, an old man known to the world as Sebastian Huff (really Elvis Aaron Presley, disguised and aging poorly) saved the residents of The Shady Rest Retirement Home, and possibly the world from a re-animated Egyptian mummy cowboy. Oh yeah, and his sidekick was JFK, also disguised and aging poorly. Elvis dies at the end. For real that time. That made a sequel hard to pull, but there was talk of a prequel, Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires. (It never happened.)

Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #1 opens up sometime between ‘69 and ‘74. Elvis is still Elvis. This is at least three years prior to the life swap with Sebastian. Nixon is the sitting president, and Colonel Tom is spearheading The King’s comeback. What we didn’t know about this point in Elvis’ career is that the Colonel was basically holding him hostage with a huge family secret. That would explain Parker’s enormous commission. Also, Elvis fought monsters.

Joshua Jabcuga uses Elvis’ bodyguard, Johnny Smack, to provide the exposition. Johnny’s pretty crude. The first scene we see him, he’s having sex with one of Elvis’ groupies while Mr. Presley is in the room, sleeping in a sensory deprivation tank. Super classy, this guy. Did I mention this is definitely a Mature title?

The linework by Tadd Galusha fits well with the B-movie horror theme. Likenesses are passable, although The Colonel is a little more Boss Hogg than Tom Parker in places. Ryan Hill pulls out some slick coloring tricks to sell the period and genre.

I’m torn by this one. I really loved the movie, so this is probably unfair, but there’s just a little something missing here. Bruce Campbell’s delivery of Sebastian Huff was jaded, sure, but he was also charming and compassionate. The humor is present in Cosmic Bloodsuckers, but it’s cold and cutting. The script is good. The artwork is great. Without the context of the film, presented on its own as a revisionist history monster hunting team-up, it’s really pretty decent.

Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers #1, published by IDW, released 16 May 2018. Written by Joshua Jabcuga, art by Tadd Galusha, color by Ryan Hill, letters by Tom B. Long, covers available by Tim Truman, Baldemar Rivas, and Tadd Galusha.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.