DISCLAIMER: Hello everybody! This month we are taking a different approach for our weekly Wednesday posts. Anime Club will be temporarily postponed (Consider it a Season 2, mainly just so I can catch up on my list of shows to watch) and for the month of July we will be taking a look at Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def shows. This week we have Axe Cop.
STARRING: Nick Offerman, Ken Marino, Rob Huebel, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Tyler, The Creator
CREATED BY: Malachai Nicolle, Ethan Nicolle
GENRE: Action, Comedy
COUNTRY: United States
Axe Cop was the invention of 5 year old storyteller Malachai Nicolle, whose 29 year old comic book creator and artist older brother Ethan made into a popular webcomic. Nick Offerman provides the voice of Axe Cop, a man who, if the opening credit voiceover is to be believed, came to be “at the scene of ‘The Fire,'” when “The Cop” found “the perfect axe.” There is a season four of Arrested Development amount of exposition that drives the humor — the characters continually have to explain this random universe the show lives in where dragons are a mode of transportation; hyrbids named Army Chihuahua and Grey Diamond need to explain their etymologies; bad dudes like Dr. Poo Poo need to thoroughly go over their evil master plan; Axe Cop has to discuss the constant developments of said plans — it all drives home the conceit that a child is in charge of the storytelling, but it’s a joke that gets old fairly quickly. (Fortunately, there is a distinct beginning, middle, and end to the stories, so there was a limit made presumably to Malachai’s influence.) The superheroic Axe Cop is based on a popular Web comic by brothers Ethan and Malachai Nicolle; it first appeared in 2010, when Ethan, who draws the pictures, was 29, and Malachai, who makes up the stories, was 5. The comic, which moves with dizzying dispatch, is a wonderful thing, a serious translation of a child’s mind through the practiced hand of an adult. There is very little irony involved in the presentation. Some of this quality survives into the Fox cartoon, though there is an extra layer of adult knowingness interposed, which dissipates the magic of the original and makes one question the source of any idea or line of dialogue. (A low-budget YouTube version, which minimally animates the comic frames, better preserves its flavor.)
There is nothing wrong with Axe Cop, but it’s a bit unfortunate that all of the attention between the two shows is focused on it — its first two episodes play simply like a Saturday morning cartoon that adults would enjoy if they happened to be watching it. This makes all the sense in the world when you know the back story.
The first episode, in which Axe Cop (played with more than a hint of Ron Swanson by Nick Offerman) and his sidekick Flute Cop (Ken Marino), help Bat Warthog Man find his missing friends, does more or less follow one of the Nicolles’ existing comics. But interpolated lines like “This jump leads to space and that’s really high” or (of a villain), “He’s asleep because it’s past his bedtime,” are an adult’s impression of a child’s voice. And a line like “All right, bro, we don’t have time for your back story” is just grown-ups talking to grown-ups.
- Plot Structure.
- Decent amount of laughs.
- Plays more like a Saturday morning cartoon.
- Personally not a fan of the voice cast.
- All Nick Offerman dialogue sounds like Ron Swanson.
- Disappointing dialogue.
SCORE: 6.5 / 10
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