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Evil Ernie

Chaos! Comics
by yo go re

This is what happens when you combine a self-insert character with a dash of the plot from Halloween and the premise of "why does the bad guy have to lose?"

Ernest Fairchild, teenage ghoul, is the maniacal leader of a zombie army dead set on taking over the world! With the help of his friend, the yellow button Smiley, Ernie wants only two things out of his unlife, revenge for the abuse he suffered as a child... and the love of the incomparable Lady Death!

Brian Pulido originally conceived Evil Ernie, the undead teenage serial killer, as a movie, but comicbooks are easier and cheaper to produce. Especially in the wake of the '80s indie boom! In the comic, Ernie was abused by his parents, a situation made worse by his psychic powers: reading the minds of his neighbors, he knew they were all aware of what was happening, but too afraid to say anything. His parents took Ernie to a psychiatrist, who used a device called the Dream Probe in an effort to correct his "emotional aberrations." This is when he first met Lady Death, who convinced him to kill in her name. That night he killed them and 35 other people before being stopped.

Ernie loves his undead life, so he's always got a huge, Joker-like rictus grin spread across his face. His eyes are blank white, and he has a huge head of poofy hair, because he was created by a metal head in the late '80s/early '90s, and that's what they would have considered cool back then. Specifically, he was based on Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, lead singer of a minor band called Overkill.

Ernie was institutionalized after his murder spree, but a second attempt to cure him (with something called Neurotech) is what actually gave him his unearthly new powers: the machine exploded, killing him, and Lady Death resurrected him as her servant. Though he seems to have some sort of healing factor, it keeps healing him back to the state he was in after the exposion: the meat is gone from his forearms, leaving nothing but radius and ulna between his hands and the sleeves of his leather jacket. His torso is hollowed out below the chest, revealing his ribs and spine, plus the bubbling green energy that animates and powers him. A winged skull belt buckle holds up his jeans, while holes in the knees reveal only bone, no body. And of course, he finishes this all off with black cowboy boots, because why wouldn't you?

Moore Action Collectibles figures never had the best articulation, and Ernie was not the figure to break that streak. He has a neck, but can't use it because of his giant Dave Mustaine hair. The shoulders are swivels, which was perfectly fine for the time, and he does at least have a waist, which is more than most MAC toys could claim. The hips are done as a V-crotch, and then that's it. No elbows, no wrists or knees (hard to do when you've just got bones there), and not even swivels for the boots. He's really going to stick to that wide-legged pose forever.

The paint is good, though. Ernie's skin is a purple-ish grey, his bones are the red of drying blood, and the energy in his gut is a bright green, with lighter paint on the bubbles and darker paint outlining them. The holes in his jacket get the same kind of green, while the rips in his pants have red. They remembered the silver paint apps for his zippers, and even did a great job painting Smiley, the evil button he wears on his lapel.

You may recall that MAC was always all about the repaints and variant decos, and in Evil Ernie's case, that repaint was glow-in-the-dark. In all honesty, the variant doesn't look substantially different from the standard figure: his pants are darker, the energy in his stomach isn't as differentiated, and he has "Chaos Rules" painted in red on the back of his jacket, but that's really all. His normal skintone is so pale that changing it to GitD plastic really isn't noticeable, which raises the question of why you'd bother doing a "normal" version at all. Just make every Ernie glow and be awesome.

Both Ernies come with the same accessories: a comical sci-fi quad-shotgun thing, an axe, and a pair of knives. The axe and knives are decorated with tiny skulls and bloody edges, while the gun is decorated with the embarrassment of its own stupid design. The Chaos! Comics figures all come with a Chaos! logo base, molded in black with red highlights.

There have been a few attempts to restart the Evil Ernie comics, but they never seem to stick - possibly because the story is set up so the unlikeable villain gets to do terrible things all the time and get away with them. It's okay to have your protagonist be a villain, but he can't be unsympathetic at the same time; and while "I want bloody, gory revenge on everybody who failed me as a child in need of help" is fine, "I want to kill all humans so I can have sex with a big-boobied lady" is less so. Literally the first thing Evil Ernie does upon coming back to life is pull the head off the nurse who was the only person who mourned his death and genuinely cared about the him. Honestly, if Chaos! Comics had been founded 20 years later, "Edgelord Comics" would have been a totally appropriate company name. Anyway, the point is the odds of ever seeing another Evil Ernie action figure be made are slim, so at least this one has a great sculpt (and a great GitD variant).

-- 10/18/18

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