Knuckleheads #5 continues the zany antics that writer Brian Winkeler and artist Robert Wilson IV have been dishing out since unleashing their creative collective digitally through Monkeybrain Comics. This is a compact, non-stop story, and even when our heroes get a much-needed moment’s rest, it doesn’t last long, and fists, both super-powered and not, start to fly. Still in the cool-down phase from Trev’s first true Crystal Fist heroics from the night before, by the end of the issue things get a lot more interesting, and the story opens up beyond Trev and his friends, widening the scope to interstellar proportions. The big, unforeseen story development is exciting and imaginative, showing that Winkeler and Wilson IV are comfortable working in small-time shenanigans, as well as intergalactic intrigue. Issue five is almost completely comedic, reveling in situational humor with an off-kilter superhero spin, and peppering character moments and new obstacles in between the laughs, and all of that is perfectly fine by me.
If I could complain about anything, it is that the issue is over before you know it, thanks to the effortless character interactions and fluidity of the action. The only disappointment is that I can’t read the next issue right away. That being said, I know how much goes into creating a comic book, and Knuckleheads has such a stellar creative team in writer Winkeler, artist Wilson IV, colorist Jordan Boyd, and letterer Thomas Mauer that it is obvious they take this very un-serious comic very seriously and always deliver their best. The team’s joy for the story and love for the characters comes across in every panel and in every visual gag and bit of witty repartee, no matter how off-the-wall or scatological it may be.
When you read an issue of Knuckleheads, you are immersed into an alternate reality that feels very much like our reality, and Trev, Lance, and Guy are as believable and as ridiculous as your actual moronic, sometimes brilliant, friends. Emma (previously known as Hot Drunk English Chick), with her dangerous side, is just like that Hot Drunk English Chick with a dangerous side (though her name may not be Emma) that you and your moronic, sometimes brilliant, friends are mystified by and constantly apologizing to for throwing up on. See, it’s just like our world, with the added awesomeness of non-stop hilarity, actually funny dialogue and jokes (For my money, better than any laugh track sitcom on TV right now.), super powers, monsters, aliens, and more mystery than you bring to the bathroom the morning after a heavy night of drinking. This is fun and entertaining stuff, and you don’t even have to take that on faith, because Knuckleheads always delivers the goods on sight, and sometimes even wears pants.