Mort The Undead Teenager #2 (1994)
Let's take it from the cover! As it states, he is young and stiff. That's the big takeaway here. So we have a pale dude with a ginger mullet that is about to get his throat slit by an electric guitar being played by a skeleton that is getting his leg humped while he rides on a skateboard. If the knife guitar doesn't do him in... the sun with the ghost teeth will! It is important to mention that none of this has anything to do with the actual contents of the book.
Note that his watch is scared into oblivion!
Alright so the book starts with some folks watching a scary movie where some kids are using a ouija board (happy Ouija Awareness Month btw) in the middle of the night at a creepy summer camp when all of a sudden Mort (Ginger McMullet) bursts in with a chainsaw and starts hacking everyone up!
Then he rips out of the movie screen for more mayhem, but luckily, everyone just assumes it's super crappy 3-D so they don't worry and he just gets discouraged. At that point his undead mentor, Teen Death, the leather jacket clad skeleton, takes him to the Netherworld of Adolescent Demise and explains that they don't need more teens killed due to dismemberment, and to start scaring/killing/maiming people a different way or he is going to turn him into a Kalikak brother (I'll get to those misguided youths later).
Mort gets sent to his high school where only his friends Slick and Weirdo can see him, and in their next class the teacher brings up how sad it is that Mort died but most of the students didn't know who he was. However, that doesn't stop them from using the distress from his death to get out of doing homework (like you do).
After school there is an unnecessary scene with his family followed by band practice at Weirdo's house. Mort's crush Kimberley (the Pink Ranger probably) shows up and hits it off with the band, specifically with Slick, who is allll about it. Teenagers, right? Mort tries to sabotage this newfound love but only succeeds to make crazy electrical noises that make their band sound even better.
If Supernatural has taught me anything, it's that when ghosts get mad they turn into poltergeists and KILL EVERYTHING. Now, this is only issue 2 of 4, but I really can't see this series ending any other way. We are talking about a sexually repressed teenager who wanted more out of life and is forced to watch his crush flirt with some other schmuck... Destruction is imminent!
Throughout the book they keep referring to the Kalikak brothers, Teen Death threatens to make Mort one, Slick accuses Mort of licking the Kalikak brothers' sister's ear (#1 screw grammar, #2 gross), and then at some point kids just see of them and calls him gross. Typical 90's bullying, really. Now you might be asking "Yo Drewsif, what does one of these mysterious Kalikaks look like?" to which I would respond "Feast your pupes on this!" (see below)
I guess Kalikak is code for "post midlife crisis high school student"...
In case you can't tell, the art in this book is similar to the art in other 90's pop culture mediums, such as Bevis and Butthead or Ren and Stimpy, etc etc. The story suffers what a lot of comics suffered (and still do occasionally) which is a writer trying to figure out how "kids these days" talk. That's how you get sayings like "Glom these", "Caramba", and a classic, "Totally boged out 3-D".
That being said, this book is attempting to bring humor to comics in the 90's which is an incredibly valiant effort. A lot of the comedy in 90's comics came from serial comics, Spider-man's one liners, and occasional rarities (Quantum and Woody, sometimes Deadpool, that sort of thing). Maybe we will get lucky and Mort will be in the next Avengers movie!
If I were to pick one panel to sum up this issue, it'd have to be:
As always, thanks so much for reading!