Overview

Skullkickers #2

Review

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Skullkickers #2

Credits

  • Words: Jim Zubkavich
  • Art: Edwin Huang
  • Colors: Misty Coats
  • Story Title: "One Thousand Opas and a Dead Body - Part Two"
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 20, 2010

The thing I like most about Skullkickers is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a book infused with a ton of heart and a frolicking sense of humor.

And by “frolicking” I of course mean panels upon panels of good, friendly, violent fun!

Skullkickers isn’t a book that’s going to win critics over with its intellectual repartee or cutting edge storytelling techniques. You won’t likely be reading about this book in The Comics Journal. Still, Skullkickers is a book that deserves praise for its courageous tongue-in-cheek approach and solid visual storytelling.

There aren’t too many books on the stands sporting such an over the top fusion of fantasy and comedy and there are even fewer that do it so well as Zubkavich and Huang’s Skullkickers. As I suggested in my review of the first issue, balancing traditional sword and sorcery fantasy with comedy is no easy task. The danger of descending into campiness is a very real one.

The creators avoid this pitfall by throwing their nameless mercenaries into increasingly absurd and dangerous situations, infusing the action with physical humor, while keeping the modern, snappy banter firing at a furious pace. It’s an odd conglomeration of ingredients that somehow works, reminding me of that kid in the schoolyard whose stories just kept getting more ridiculous the longer they went on.

Skullkickers leaves you smiling and breathless.

Edwin Huang once again impresses with his clearly laid out pages and robust, manga-influenced style. Clarity in a book like Skullkickers is of the utmost importance. Ask any actor and they’ll tell you. Comedy is far harder to pull off than drama. It’s all in the timing and I would suggest the same is true for comics. Huang’s simple yet precise panel progression shows maturity beyond his years or experience and contributes greatly to the success of the story’s humorous tone.

Even one blown gag is potentially fatal in a visual medium such as comics – perhaps especially in comics, where the marriage of words and pictures is distilled down to its most basic form. Huang rarely misses a beat in Skullkickers, reinforcing Zubkavich’s comedic script with his solid visual storytelling.

As the quest for their rapidly decomposing prize unravels – like most of their plans – Zubkavich and Huang’s nameless odd couple continues to entertain with their humorous, action-packed hijinks. Thanks to clear, balanced storytelling and a good-natured heart at its core, Skullkickers continues to put the “fun” back into funny books.

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