‘Bonehead: Volume One’ - Trade Paperback Review

Bonehead - now THAT is a title. The word itself alludes to a doltish, neanderthal, half-wit, or stupid person; however, in the context of the story, it refers to a person who belongs to one of many parkour gangs that run around doing cool tricks using only their bodies! All of the aforementioned Boneheads have uniquely decorated helmets that distinguish them from other (different) Boneheads. The book is published by Image Comics / Top Cow and dares to answer the question, “What if The Warriors was made in 2010?”


The story takes place in the future. Is this future distant or near? Pay no mind! Bryan Hill’s creative twist on this future is that tech has advanced in such a way that virtual headsets have mostly made their way into daily life. Drones fly about freely. Cities are crowded. There might even be aliens?!



They don’t mention aliens in the story, but that poster looks like aliens. Or, maybe mutants? Or, maybe it’s a movie advertisement? It definitely looks like a televised fight of some kind. This billboard raised a lot of questions when I saw it. Anyways...

To be living in this future is to be wearing a cool motorcycle helmet, all of the time. You will need to get into a gang, and your look will probably reflect that of your gang’s. You will need to learn parkour. Parkour is key and parkour is bae. Doing good moves is not just a status symbol, but it will also translate directly to your fighting ability.



In Bonehead, the action comes hot and fast. Characters fly through panels at mach-speed, barely catching their breath before another hooligan comes bursting in to gum up the resolve. There are a few different people competing for “main character” status in this story, but characters are not what Bonehead does best. For example, a character named Aleph is being nagged and responds promptly with a snarky, “Chillax, boss.”



This is promptly when I mentally threw this character in the garbage.

Rather, it’s in that sweet motion from scene to face-bashing scene that Bonehead flexes its extraordinary visual muscles. Rhoald Marcellius is the artist on the book and does a spectacular job of capturing the frantic pace of a loose narrative. Simply put, I like watching these characters fight each other. It’s colorful, energetic, and feels alive.

I have truly enjoyed the recent publications through Image / Top Cow. It feels like Image throws some of their more risky prospects to their subsidiary. This is a fun, four-issue showcase, but as a collection, a four-issue arc is not enough time for every story to get its footing. Bonehead needs to show us more: more of the world, more from the characters, and an overall reason to care. Otherwise, Bonehead will be remembered for a few great fights and little else, which I suppose, on its own merit, isn’t that bad.


Creative Team: Bryan Hill (writer), Rhoald Marcellius (art)
Publisher: Image Top Cow
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