Review: Bargain Basement Exorcism Gone Wrong In ‘Knock ‘Em Dead’ #3

‘Pryor Brice has just killed an entire room full of people — because he just won a stand-up comedy competition!

Pryor should be on top of the world after his win, but he’s not. The spirit of his dead friend that’s trapped inside him has grown more powerful. Now Pryor is acting…differently. How do you exorcise a malignant spirit for bargain prices on such short notice? Well, all we can say is…thank God for the internet.’

Pryor Brice finally has everything he’s always wanted, but he’s finding the cost unbearable. His ticket is punched, having won $500 at a local stand-up contest and a shot at the big time. Problem is, possession isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Danny’s kind of a dick and takes great pleasure in torturing his host. 

Everything tracks along just the way you’d expect with this one, until Eliot Rahal cuts a hard left and takes it down a completely different path. It’s unexpected, sure, but I’m not sure it had to happen quite yet in the story. That being said, it’s an interesting twist that sets up a lot of opportunities down the line. 

Mattia Monaco and Matt Milla really dial up the horror in chapter three. The stand-up scenes are still strongest. My favorite occurs in Pryor’s nightmares, where he’s bombing in front of a crowd of demons. This one scene, combining all of the man’s worst fears in one schtick, is the turn, the spot where Pryor figures out that he’s got to get rid of Danny or die trying.  

This is not the strongest chapter in the series to date, but despite a couple hiccups in pacing, it’s still a solid entry. It probably could have been drawn out into two installments with a slower build to Pryor’s breaking point, but it gets the job done, and opens up some really interesting possibilities moving forward.

Knock ‘Em Dead #3, AfterShock Comics, 10 February 2021. Written by Eliot Rahal, art by Mattia Monaco, color by Matt Milla, letters by Taylor Esposito.

‘Pryor Brice has just killed an entire room full of people — because he just won a stand-up comedy competition!COMICONRead More

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