I will confess, I had never heard of Skullkickers until the guys on Funnybooks started talking about it a few episodes ago. They made it sound like a fun book that was full of tongue-in-cheek action. I have not a read a full-on fun book in quite some time. So, I gave The Might Skullkickers number one a try.
The humor that I heard about starts off immediately with the gorgeous cover and the title itself. The dwarf is front-and-center, wreaking havoc with the title of the comic itself. It is a beautiful homage to the Walter Simonson Mighty Thor cover. The subtitle for this story arc is eighty eyes on an evil island of which this issue is part three. Yes, you read that correctly, part three. For this story arc, they have done a number one for each issue with a different name. The first part was Uncanny Skullkickers followed by Savage Skullkickers. Zub and Huang are having a good time poking fun at the overblown titles that are found out in the comic wilds and are inviting us to join them in a good laugh at them. The jabs are never mean spirited though as the art on the overs are excellent renditions of these self-same comics. One of my favorite things from this issue is on the very first page where they point out this is part three and issue number one. They freely admit that they are horrible people which made me giggle.
the story for this issue is very straight forward. To enlist the aid of the talking gorillas of the island, our intrepid heroes must undergo the right of initiation to become part of the tribe. Once this is done the process of convincing the gorillas that Thool is something that must be address is undertaken. There is no new ground broken here in the story but the comedy and references fly fast and free throughout. Our hero must wade through the Pool of Great Reflection as his trial. He calls it a crock of crap. OK, he actually uses @#$%, as this is an all-ages comic, but you get the picture. The fantasy factoid, reminiscent of the factoids from VH1’s pop-up videos, explains that it is not actually a crock of crap but heavily enchanted so that it creates a mystic double of any who brave it’s waters. as is required in these moments, a fight between the hero and his double breaks out.
Scenes like this litter the pages of this book. There is even a panel copying Where the Wild Things Are. I was chuckling the entire time I read this book.
The art is wonderful as well. The style is very anime with the Kusia reminding me of the elf from Record of Lodoss war. Rex is drawn in such a fashion that he evokes memories of Tekken and Street Fighter. I just can not quite put my finger on which fighter he reminds me of the most. The action scenes are clear and crisp with a definite Saturday night kung-fu movie feel as evidenced by the many Double Dodge! and Pistol-Whippage! laced throughout the panels. Edwin Huang’s pencils are just plain fun and a joy to behold.
This book is filled with action, adventure, and a quirky sense of humor. It was a fun read and I am actually looking forward to the next installment.