Welcome back to Rotten Ink and this Blogs 10 Year Anniversary and this update will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and is one that I have been thinking about doing for a very long tome and that’s The Mummy’s Return and the comic book from Chaos Comics that goes along with it called “Valley Of The Gods”! The Mummy Returns was the sequel to the super popular 1999 Action Horror Film The Mummy that spawned a franchise as well as a spin off franchise and even got not only the comic book treatment but also the video game kind. So with that lets head into the world of The Mummy Returns and talk about this Action Horror Film that is still to this day loved by its fans, so lets see what this Mummy has in for us in scares as well as ways to deal death.
Let’s start off by taking a look at Imhotep the supernatural Mummy Priest from this film series. Imhotep was a priest who was mummified and entombed alive after he had fallen in love with the Queen that lead to the murder of the King. Once brought back to life by an Egyptian Cult he is as mean and angry as ever. Imhotep has many powers that can deal death to humans with first being that he has an army of undead guards as well as cult members who will do his bidding and have no issues taking a life using knives, swords, staffs and even guns. Imhotep can also control the elements around him causing sand to bend and act to his will as well as water and these powers can cause serious damage to a person as they could drown or even be ripped to shreds by both. Imhotep also eats the life force from his enemies and this causes his undead skin to come back alive and as well can turn him human again. His rotting appearance as well is a great tool in his favor as is strikes fear and shock into the hearts of those who see him and leave them open for his attack. Imhotep is also very skilled in fighting in both hand and weapon and is very tricky causing him to be a foe one would not want to face. He is also a lair and will use false promises as well as lies to enemies to get things in his favor. But while Imhotep is powerful he does have weaknesses as when he is made flesh and blood again he can be killed like any other normal man, he also even as the undead Mummy can be killed via the spirits of the dead. Imhotep also has a very big ego that can lead him into being defeated and make mistakes. Say what you will but Imhotep is a very dangerous and an evil force of nature that ranks up there when it comes to dealing death to mortals.
So now that we have talked about Imhotep, we should talk about the second film in the remake series. So the films write up will be taking from our friends at IMDB and I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts of the film. So let’s get to The Mummy Returns and chat about this 2001 Adventure Horror Film with a twist of Comedy.
The Mummy Returns (2001)
“Many years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the Scorpion King led a menacing army, but when he sold his soul to Anubis, he was erased from history. Now he is only a myth…or is he? Rick and Evelyn O’Connell are still discovering new artifacts, along with their 8-year-old son Alex. They discover the Bracelet of Anubis. But someone else is after the bracelet. High Priest Imhotep has been brought back from the dead once again and wants the bracelet, to control the Scorpion King’s army. That’s not the only problem. Imhotep now has Alex and with the bracelet attached to him, doesn’t have long to live.”
Universal was ridding high when the 1999 remake to the 1932 monster film The Mummy did well at the box office as well as was loved by critics and fans causing them to want to rush a sequel to the silver screen while people were still very much into the adventure themed horror film and it was fresh in their minds so with Stephen Sommers returning to write and direct the film they were able to get the original cast Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Patricia Velasquez, Oded Fehr and Arnold Vosloo to comeback for the sequel and new names like Freddie Boath, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alun Armstrong and more joined the cast. The production was your normal big production and was highly stressful and lots of stunts and later effects had to be added to make the film have that Horror Adventure feel that made the first film special. Some issues during production were The Rock getting food poisoning and the most serious being that Brendan Fraser suffered several injuries that plagued him for years. Once done Alan Silvestri was brought in to score the film and did a great job as his work helps bring the film alive. The film was released on May 4, 2001 and was meet with mix reviews from critics and was looked at more fondly by fans. The film would bring in $433,013,274.00 worldwide and was the # 6 grossing film at the US Box Office that year. The year it was released it beat out other Horror and Sci-Fi films like Jurassic Park III, Planet Of The Apes, Hannibal, The Others, Along Came A Spider, Scary Movie 2, Thir13en Ghosts, Jeepers Creepers, From Hell, Ghost Of Mars and Bones to name a few. The film would be released on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital over the years and remains a popular film for fans of the Horror Adventure Film genre.
The Mummy Returns was a film that when released I judged way to hard as like the first film I felt that they took the Horror out of a classic Universal Monster and I was in full swing of protesting the film and not seeing it and even refused to for a very long while, and the crazy part is I went to the theater and seen “The Scorpion King” from 2002 a spin-off from Mummy Returns with my brother Bryan and our friend Andy Copp. Over the years I can remember seeing bits and pieces of the film at friends houses as they would pop in the VHS and DVD at parties and get togethers and I never paid it any attention, as I was still being a royal classic monster snob. And let’s be honest when already judging the film and seeing that cheesy CGI version of The Scorpion King from the film it was easy to dismiss the film as being bad. I worked at Blockbuster Video at the time as well and customers and my fellow employees when it was released on home media tried to get me to watch it, and I refused as again I was being a snob. It took many, many years before I truly gave the film a chance as well as the other films in the series and I have to say that I was foolish for judging these films so harsh as they are fun, fantastic films that while very different from the classic Universal The Mummy series they added their own touch and delivered films that brought some chills, laughs and high adventure. And for the time you have think the digital effects where considered good and while dated now they were state of the art back then. The film was super well casted and this also was the films that introduced me to actress Rachel Weisz who could be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood to this day. To sum it up Mummy Returns is a great sequel to a great Adventure Horror film series that I was wrong about for many years and am glad that I gave it a chance, as it really is a film I enjoy watching.
So with that brief history lesson of The Mummy Returns and the killing ways of Imhotep we should now get to the comic review that was made possible by Bell, Book And Comic who had the comic in stock. I also would like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So with that lets head out with the O’Connell’s and dodge the wrath of The Mummy!
Mummy: Valley Of The Gods # 1 *1/2
Released in 2001 Cover Price $2.99 Chaos! # 1 of 1
Professor Winter and his crew are in a tomb and are being lead by Ardeth Bay as they have already sent the Orb Of Destiny a relic to Rick and Evelyn O’Connell and that was a big mistake as they open a tomb evil soul eating animal spirits escape and they all have to run for their lives, but some of the crew are not that lucky and meet their fates. Meanwhile Rick is having a nightmare about the Scorpion King killing Evelyn when the phone rings and its Professor Winter asking them to come to Egypt and to please bring the Orb back with them. Once our heroes get back to Egypt they are greeted by Jonathan who is Evelyn’s brother, and they have dinner and catch up on what has been going on in their lives and the next morning they fly to the dig site location. And it comes out that Evelyn use to have a big crush on Professor Winter and this makes Rick a little uncomfortable on learning this but trusts in the love he and his wife have for each other. Once inside the tomb our team of Rick, Evelyn, Winter, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay are attacked by the weird spirit animals again and they are forced to try and shoot them to save their lives, but bullets are not working! Finally Rick picks up a stone tablet and is about to throw it at the spirits when the tablet turns out to be a map that sends the spirits packing as it has magical powers. The map says that it leads to a unknown place called the Valley Of The Gods and they all rush to the location only to find sand and two giant undead warriors who want them all dead.
I first need to say that this comic does not capture the characters nor the vibe of the films its based on at all and feels like a very generic story with very generic characters as Rick & Evelyn in this comic act nothing like they should, and there is barely any adventure or horror elements taking place in this first issue that does a very bad job of wanting readers to return for a second issue that never came, and I am guessing it never came due to the fact this first issue sold so poorly via word of mouth. The plot is about the Orb Of Destiny and a hidden Valley that is said to be the place of Gods and the O’Connell’s go to find what treasures and history awaits them, but instead find two angry undead giants and spirits of animals that eat souls. Rick O’Connell is our hero who is plagued with nightmares about his wife being killed, is worried about his wives old crush and somehow falls backwards into being the one who sends the spirits away as well as find a hidden map. Over all Rick is just very basic in being a hero and he lacks the charm and goofy nature the character has in the films. Evelyn is a strong willed woman who knows she can do whatever her husband can do, but also her character is all wrong as is her brother Jonathans and Ardeth Bay’s as they all just seem off and bland. Professor Winter is a man who clearly does not care about safety of his crew as he really just wants to uncover what the tombs have in treasures and if evil spirits attack its ok as long as he uncovers stuff, he also is very flirty with Evelyn and he knows she is married. The bad guys of the comic are the evil animal spirits that attack a person’s soul and two undead giants who do nothing as they only show up on the last page. The comic has zero blood, only one death and packs very little spooky moments and the worse sin zero appearances by Imhotep but we are treated to the Scorpion King…yeah. The cover is ok and is eye catching for the time it was released, and the interior art by Matt Broome and is ok but also does not look like the actors that play the characters in the film with them all really looking like generic muscle heroes from say a comic series like Gen 13 and has a pure 90’s look in their designs. Over all this is a very lackluster Adventure Horror Comic that does a very poor job of capturing the mood and feel of the films, and with that checkout the art below to see the style of Broome.
The Mummy: Valley Of The Gods was a comic series that was supposed to last a total of three issues and was cancelled after only one as if truly failed the readers as well as to capture the eye of fans of The Mummy Return. And I have to say while this is not one of the better comics he have read and reviewed on a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” it is one you should checkout yourself and see what you think. Well for the next update we are leaving the Tombs of Egypt and will be heading to a farm as we chat about U.S. Acres a very cool comic strip by Jim Davis. So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. And hope you are ready to spend some time with Orson and his friends down on the farm like I am.