And, I’m all out of bubble gum.
In the ’90s, lots of things happened; some of those things were awesome, and some of those things were dumb, but done in an “awesome” way. Max Bemis and Logan Faerber bring a focus to certain comics of that time and their effect on the well being of many a graphic novel fan’s taste and style as they grew up. Finding out that a once-reviled comic is now worth bank, our generally nerdy homebody runs to fetch it when something . . . weird happens. Stepping off the page is a grunting, low vocabulary hero ripped right from an Arnie-infused dream. Muscles and weapons for days, this guy’s now in our world.
Bemis has a solid grasp on exactly what he wants to say here and keeps his message simple and on target, while layering in an interesting, psychological puzzle for the reader, centering on family. I think it’s a very entertaining book, and the premise stems right from the period he’s lampooning. (It’s like Last Action Hero but with comics! Remember that movie? Schwarzenegger steps out of a bad, action flick and turns the world into a bad, action flick? The best parts were certainly in the trailers, like the non-exploding-when-shot car thing and how all numbers start with 555.) Anyway, Bemis puts a great spin on this idea and drags an average kind of ho-hum guy into a fantastic (as in fantasy) adventure almost immediately upon becoming a father, which gives this adrenaline-fueled tale a great deal of interest and heart. He does a great job letting the funny tone highlight the serious notes of the story and keeps a great balance of the two.
Faerber’s got a very cool style and lands this world somewhere between Ren and Stimpy and Animaniacs, capturing the period well while still putting his own unique touches on it. The work moves well, and there are plenty of visual gags to enjoy, enhancing the weirdness that is this story. The final page manages to sum up the dichotomy I mentioned in this work beautifully and draws us forward into wanting the next issue.
You’re in for a treat if you like the fish-out-of-water tale pumped full of machismo and wonderful one-liners, and watching the mild-mannered intellectual deal with the raging testosterone monster that’s been unleashed on his life, all the while exploring the family dynamic. Check it out! It’s a good time.
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*Oh, Killstrike will be released in May. Be sure to pre-order your copy at your local comic book shop by Monday, April 27.