CHAINSAW REINDEER #1 Eschews Deeper Meanings, Embraces Gory Chaos

Brandon Rhiness reminds readers comics shouldn't always be taken seriously.


Chainsaw Reindeer #1 won't blow you away with a profound story but it's still a lot of fun.
- Advertisement -

Action Lab: Danger Zone’s Chainsaw Reindeer #1 (on sale September 10) is bonkers. Writer Brandon Rhiness takes the premise, a reindeer brandishing a chainsaw, and runs wild with it. He offers the reader an unrelenting gorefest and readers who like their comics with an extra serving of blood and guts will likely enjoy the ride.

Chainsaw Reindeer #1

Writer: Brandon Rhiness

Pencils & Inks: Carlos Trigo

- Advertisement -

Colors: Przemyslaw Dedelis

Letters: Chris Johnson

Rhiness almost exclusively focuses on the gratuitous violence, which produces an eye-opening story that’s light on substance. The main character, whom the series is named after, goes crazy and the subsequent killing spree takes him from the North Pole to Earth’s orbit and every in between. The titular character’s body count reads like a grocery list and it’s a doozy; he kills, amongst others, Santa Claus, the Loch Ness Monster, a leprechaun and, in total, over three billion people. The issue loses some steam after its enthralling beginning, where Chainsaw Reindeer brutally kills a morally monstrous Santa Claus. 

Chainsaw Reindeer #1
Santa Claus has been naughty this year. (Credit of Action Lab Comics.)

This Santa is the most horrendous version of the character in recent memory. He’s more heinous than the imposter in Elf and the Robot Santa Claus from Futurama. This Kris Kingle is even more wicked than his counterpart in Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy.” (This whole comic subverts the premise of that classic Christmas song.) Rhiness’ Santa mistreats Mrs. Claus (he tells her to shut up and mutters, “Bitch, you’re gonna get it one of these days,) he’s a terrible boss to his elves and he beats his reindeer. (Rhiness also implies that the abuse extends beyond physical violence.) Eventually, Chainsaw Reindeer gets revenge for these beatings and kills Santa in cold blood. Because Rhiness presents Santa as a vile villain, the reader roots for the the not-so-jolly Saint Nick’s demise. After Chainsaw Reindeer murders him, the unhinged protagonist delivers a one-liner that feels like it belongs in the latest action blockbuster starring Dwayne Johnson. (Imagining that the Reindeer was voiced by Johnson made the moment even more enjoyable.) 

Chainsaw Reindeer #1
Chainsaw Reindeer’s reign of terror has only just begun. (Credit of Action Lab.)

In a book with such a violent story, the art is particularly crucial to the comic’s success and the combination of penciler/inker Carlos Trigo and color artist Przemyslaw Dedelis bring the bloody script to life. In the most impactful scene, Trigo and Dedelis complement Chainsaw Reindeer’s dramatic invasion of Santa Claus’ home. The Reindeer is surrounded by dark shadows and the moonlight through the window mainly catches his eyes and the metal of the gun in his hands. Here, the stunning visual strengthens the suspenseful moment. Plus, Trigo and Dedelis help each and every murder feel gruesome with blood spatter that pops off the page and grisly depictions of the chainsaw annihilating the victims. By the end of the book, the constant stream of deaths makes them blur together in the narrative but the art team still makes them visually memorable. 

In Chainsaw Reindeer #1, there’s not much to sink your teeth into once you look beyond the gore. But the delight from seeing a crazed reindeer killing an abusive Santa Claus is just too incredible to ignore. Interested readers should check out this comic because, if nothing else, you won’t read another one like it this year.

What’d you think of Chainsaw Reindeer #1? Do you want to see more of this series?


Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!


Review: CANTO #4 – Amazing Adventures To Save An Admirer

Canto #4, out this week from IDW, takes you on a fantastic adventure full of humor and lovable characters that will pull at your...

Review: THE BLACK GHOST#1 Excellently Mixes Noir, Mystery and Vigilantes

The Black Ghost #1, published by ComiXology, and created by Alex Segura, Monica Gallagher, Marco Finnegan, George Kambadias, Ellie Wright and Taylor Esposito perfectly...

Sailing Away With Bat & Cat in BATMAN #78

After the shocker presented in our last issue, few readers may be ready for what we find in Batman #78, out this week from...

Donny Cates Kills Off The Marvel Universe In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9 Preview

Guardians of the Galaxy #9 hits your local comic book shop on September 18, but thanks to Marvel Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has a...

Review: RONIN ISLAND #6: Will Hana Fight For The Island?

Hana and Kenichi—the dynamic duo who put aside their differences to fight the monstrous Byonin—have been separated for quite some time. After the warriors...

Review: THE FLASH #78 shows off the Terror of the Black Flash

The Black Flash Lashes Out Against the Forces The Forces are in danger of collapsing. As the Sage, Strength, and Still Forces continue to make...

How Gwen’s Planning Needs Work in GWENPOOL STRIKES BACK #2

Gwenpool Strikes Back #2 continues Gwenpool’s quest for relevancy, bringing yet another chaotic scheme of hers to fruition, with lots of laughs along the way.

Review: Trust & Revenge are Powerful Pulls in RED SONJA #8

When you’re facing trouble, it’s often vital to put your trust in other people. In Red Sonja #8, out this week from Dynamite Entertainment,...
Colin Tessier
Passionate fan of Marvel/DC Comics. Freelance writer for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Bam Smack Pow, WrestleZone and other publications.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

CHAINSAW REINDEER #1 Eschews Deeper Meanings, Embraces Gory Chaos 3


CHAINSAW REINDEER #1 Eschews Deeper Meanings, Embraces Gory Chaos 4

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.


Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

CHAINSAW REINDEER #1 Eschews Deeper Meanings, Embraces Gory Chaos 5


COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!