I adore Savage Skullkickers. Love it. It isn’t perfect, but it’s everything I want in a comic book. It’s got a sharp comedic wit, characters who seem to follow their own idiotic personalities to their unfortunate end, and plenty of action to drag the plot along kicking and screaming.
So, read it already.
Okay, not really the end. Unfortunately, I doubt my editor would let that be the review, so I guess I will have to look at this comic again. “Oh my, what a chore.”
This book made me feel like I was playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of friends, the Dungeon Master occasionally letting accidental commentary of his own leak in. The book’s blatant disrespect for the fourth wall and other comic book tropes made me laugh out loud more than once, (an awkward position to be in when you’re at your job).
The art is clean and detailed, but not cluttered. The color scheme is light, and bubbly, and the whole thing reminded me of a 1980s video game, an eight-bit melodrama with violence and comedy. Particularly funny bits of comedic gold are the splash balloons, which serve to simply reiterate exactly what is going on in the panel, and while this might not seem funny in concept, in practice I found it hilarious.
Savage Skullkickers #1 seemed to evoke an older time in pop culture, where geekery was still uncool. It was a time when the industry could make fun of itself, and not everything had to be gritty and serious. Savage Skullkickers isn’t trying to be edgy, and unlike so many other books that try to be funny, it doesn’t feel forced.
Unfortunately, despite being a number one issue, Savage Skullkickers is not a number one issue. The cover and naming convention for the book are actually a tribute to Savage Wolverine #1 (a fine book in its own right).
Savage Skullkickers #1 is actually the 20th book in the series, so newer readers who pick it up in hopes of an easy review . . . I mean an easy read, might be a little disoriented. I felt the book could have used a context page, so I knew basically what was going on; however, longtime readers of the series shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring out what is going on.
The book also references some older issues, meaning that to get the full effect, newer readers (a.k.a. this reviewer) will have to go back and find those issues. There are worse fates than having to read 19 issues of a hilarious comic book, so this is a happy, albeit expensive, problem to have.
If you like your fantasy and action with a good dose of humor, read Savage Skullkickers #1 today, and then go out and buy the back issues of Skullkickers. Just a side note, you will have to fight me for them.
To learn more about Max, please visit him at Maxwbeaulieu.com or follow him on Twitter, @maxwbeaulieu.