As I was doing my normal trawling of kickstarter for new comic/graphic novel projects to back, I landed on a project which used the following phrases to describe its story:
1. I want to read more comics with queer characters and/or storylines.
2. I LOVE THE WARRIORS!
3. While I loathe Shakespeare, I need to know if the Montagues or Capulets get back to Coney Island before the Grammercy Riffs hunt them down for justice!
Before I get into the review, I'm working on an interview with author/creator Frankee White. One of the questions I asked, is if Frankee would put together a 5 song soundtrack that goes well with 20 fists, and I did the same. I think you have 9 pretty solid tracks (because we both picked a similar song) to enjoy while you take on his newest title.
Understanding everything that happens during the boardwalk conversations offers a great look into the minds of most of the characters involved on either crew.
So what's this image you may be asking...although it's explained in the speech bubbles, its a Kickstarter stretch goal I hope got unlocked (I cannot remember) but I want to see the extra story about Ferris Wheeler's origin! He feels like I'm pulled to him for the same reasons I am drawn to a character like Jeff the landshark. HE IS ADORABLE!!!!!
Why should you check it out?
Second, THE ART IS AMAZING!! Kat Baumann slays in this action-packed adventure. A large majority of the high-octane fighting stories I've read have been typical books finished by a colorist, where the extra use of color is what helps the reader perceive the intensity of the action. Kat shoulders the load of showing the emotional highs and lows, and the intensity of all of the brawling in black-and-white. I would love to see sketches of where some of these pages started to the finished process (mostly because I'm a sucker for watching creators create) but some of these pages pop so much, I'd love to own a page to hang on my wall!
The amazing connection between artist and author in addition to a unique twist to a tale as old as time, makes me glad to have backed this project!
How Can You Read 20 Fists?
1. Hopefully you backed it on Kickstarter!
2. Frankee says all of the copies printed beyond their KS quota were to be Con-exclusives. However, if you make a $15+ donation to a Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ+ organization and share a copy of the receipt with Frankee, you will receive either all 3 books mailed to you or a High-Res pdf (your preference...until supplies last!)
Hit-Girl In Colombia-TBP Vol 1 (Image)
By: Mark Millar, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho, Milena Mikulic
The book opens where we meet Mano, an assassin for a Colombian cartel who is being transported to prison. Until his convoy is attacked. My initial reaction was "oh, clearly his cartel broke him free...." until he is unmasked by Hit-Girl herself. She has let Mano know that if he carries out every task she wants across a 7 day period, then she will let him go free. If he fails in any of his missions or turns on Hit-Girl then a mysterious third party will trigger an armband he is wearing which will blow him up!
The ways people are killed by this tech are insane, and Lopez Ortiz does an amazing job really showing how people get worked over (like how someone would be cooked from the inside-out with the microwave gun or the bloodbath from the gun which can shoot around corners, or all of the glorious explosions.) Both Lopez Ortiz's work on the art and Gho's wide use of the color spectrum really makes everything pop!
As the story progresses, we slowly learn about Hit-Girl's ever expanding base of targets, and who the mysterious third party is and what role she really has in al of the actions of HG and Mano.
This is a fun, quick, colorfully violent read. If you like Millar, or the creative team, or you want a Punisher-style book which will make you laugh throughout...you should pick this book up!
Knights of the Golden Sun Vol 1 (Mad Cave)
By: Mark London, Mauricio Villarreal, Justin Birch
The story is set during the 400 year period between the Old and New testaments where neither angels nor man hear from god. He literally went AFK. Everything is left in the hands of Michael, Raphael, Uriel and Gabrielle to hold true to their promises of not meddling in the affairs of humans while also protecting the kingdom. However, even the archangels run into a crisis of faith when they stop hearing from God, and the bad only seems to consistently get worse! Michael is kidnapped after he attempts to see if Lucifer will help defend the kingdom. Raphael is away seeing a woman he promised to protect when she was a young girl, and Uriel and Gabrielle are trying to get by the best they can.
What unfolds is an epic battle vs. the Giants (who have a brainwashed Lucifer), and the Archangels vs Azrael who has gone truly mad with her ever growing slate of powers and the ability to help resurrect the dead make her a real threat to steal the throne.
It seems all hope may be lost, until the archangels discover the Knights of the Golden Sun, who are an extension of David's bloodline, and are there to help the angels in their moments of need. How will the Knights be able to help the angels turn the tide? Once Lucifer becomes free of mind control, will he be an ally or an enemy? Is Michael the true key the angels need to defend their home front?
To answer all of these questions, you should definitely buy this trade!
In terms of the art, it is BEAUTIFUL. The early moments in the book when we get to see the height of humanity and the kingdom, it is ethereal. The battle of David vs. Golliath is murky and gritty. As everyone continues to lose hope and faith while the forces of evil grow in strength, the book becomes equally dark and depressing artistically. The battle scenes throughout the latter issues are stunning, and there are quite a few pages I wouldn't mind seeing on my walls everyday.
What should you do?
I think this was the perfect title to introduce me to all things Mad Cave, and it is a purchase I'm glad I made. Next up are the 2 volumes of Battle Cats, and then, who knows? I may have to go buy some more!
Hit-Girl in Canada (vol 2 of the series) (Image)
By: Jeff Lemire, Eduardo Risson, Patricia Mulvihill, Clem Robins
I literally have no other idea how to summarize this book, but it's great! Even though I had no clue about the main character, I didn't feel lost by picking up on volume 2, which is great. I also don't know if there is any shift in continuity etc. Because this volume has a different creative team. But it is hilarious, bloody, compelling and great! Also, I love everything Lemire has done, and this was different from anything else of his I've read, which makes me wonder...is there anything Jeff can't do?
We Can Never Go Home TPB (Black Mask)
By: Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, Josh Hood, Brian Level, Amanda Scurti, Tyler Boss, Jim Campbell, and David C. Hopkins
The series opens with Duncan practicing his aim and shooting ability with his father's gun, when a random truck shows up. The truck contains Madison and her boyfriend, who are there for a make out session, and Duncan decides to go in for a peep. Once the boyfriend tries to kick Duncan's ass, a super-strong, lightning eyed Madison beats her boyfriend up, and the two misfits are left to walk home.
What ensues is an eventual growing passion between the two misfit teens. Madison, with her secretive superpowers, and Duncan, who claims he can kill people with his mind (using his mother as evidence). This relationship causes a great raising of Duncan's social status, and a lowering of Madisons. As gifts from Duncan are passed to Madison, she decides to visit him at home, where he is being beaten by his father...so Madison killed him.
From that moment on, Duncan and Maddie decide they need to live on the run, because after the murder...they can never go home. Therefore they decide to live on the run. But they need one more thing...money. Thus, they decide to rob a local pot dealer Duncan knows of, and of course, shit gets wild, and they take on more heat.
What ensues, is streaks of good and bad luck. Run-ins with the law, and with criminal enterprise. How does their relationship evolve? Do they successfully establish a new "home?" I'd highly recommend picking this book up. A wild tale of fun hijinks, passion, and ensues, and at the end, I was emotionally drained. This is one of the top titles I've seen from Black Mask, and you want to join this party!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...
Rimmey is a high school history/government teacher & speech and debate coach in Kansas. He has slowly been rediscovering his love for comics since June of 2019.
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