If you’ve read the first issue of Toe Tag Riot (and you should have, because I told you to in my review of it), you knew that this series was going to be a wild ride. None of us knew exactly how wild until right now, however, because TTR #2 is when things start getting real (or maybe in a book about a zombie punk band, I should say “where the body parts start hitting the fan” instead). Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman amp up the story in this issue, and the body count skyrockets from a few lousy skinheads that no one is going to miss to more skinheads that no one’s going to miss, and oh yeah, some more hardcore hate-spewing fundies. I’ll give you a hint as to their identity: the cover proclaims this issue the “Million Mom Massacre.”
This book gets bloody really quickly. For those who were wanting a little more zombie action from the first issue? You get it here. You also get to give a little cheer (or at least I did), every time the band takes out another hate-spewing ass, as the TTR concert goes supremely punk and devolves into a giant melee. But this issue isn’t just a gore-fest, there’s a lot of humor here as well—Dickie yelling “You literally Bible thumped me!?” had me literally laughing out loud on the subway, as did several other lines. And we get some TTR backstory and teasers for the rest of the story arc in this 22 pages as well. We learn how TTR was cursed into performing zombiedom, and find out that Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy might be more than he seems. There is a lot going on in this issue, and I mean that in the best possible way. I’m not sure how Miner and Von Gorman manage to fit everything in, but their collaboration delivers an excellent second issue and another fun read. Can’t wait to see where issue #3 goes!
Before I rate this one, I’m just going to tackle the 500-pound gorilla in the room and say that I’m sure somewhere out there, people are going to take TTR #2 wrong and say “Why are the members of TTR killing Christians?” I would flip that one on them and ask “Why are these ‘Christians’ protesting TTR and telling them to denounce the gay members of the band?” Because all the times I went to Sunday school when I was a kid, they told me that Jesus’s message was about love for all mankind, not just love for the people who agree with us. Jesus wanted us all to get along, folks. That’s the reason for the season. I’m not saying we need to gather round and sing “Kum-ba-ya,” (mostly because that song irritates the hell out of me), I’m saying you should pick up TTR #2 and celebrate Christmas Eve with a spirit of tolerance. And zombies. Toe Tag Riot #2 gets 5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
TOE TAG RIOT #2
Writer: Matt Miner
Artist: Sean Von Gorman
Colorist: Savanna Ganucheau
Letterers: Sean Von Gorman
Cover: Christian Dibari and Michael Spicer
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: December 24, 2014