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Review: Skull Kickers #1

There's been a lot of buzz about this one...

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Two unnamed mercenaries - - one a stoic giant, and the other a surly dwarf - - scrap for big bounties and paydays in a fantasy landscape full of werewolves and shadowy assassins.

The Good

The penciler and inker trade hats enough times in this issue that I'm not sure who's responsible for what and where, but the production quality in total is quite appealing.  The coloring's glossy cel shading makes these panels feel like frames taken right out a high-end animated feature. Actually, despite the on-the-surface simplicity, there's a surprising amount of depth achieved in the compositions.

The Bad

Maybe I'm a stick in the mud who isn't in the proper mindset of fun for a romp like this, but I didn't think this comic was really that special. I realize it's supposed to be a send-up of fantasy tropes and familiar archetypes, but I'm really not seeing a twist in this issue that makes it stand out in the well-explored light adventure genre. Maybe that will manifest in the next issue, but I'm not really hooked enough to find out.

The Verdict - 3/5

Bleeding Cool's been saying that this had been getting a unusual amount of buzz prior to its debut. Supposedly, this issue's already re-selling for $15 on eBay. While this debut issue wasn't really my cup of tea, I'm still glad that a creator-owned indy book like this - - something that isn't a licensed property, that isn't continuing a long-running character, that isn't coming from big names - - is making a splash. I hope it continues to do well, even if I won't necessarily be along for the ride.