Shirtless Bear-Fighter #1
Publisher: Image Comics © 2017
Writers: Jody Leheup & Sebastian Girner
Artist: Nil Vendrell Pallach
Colorist: Michael Spicer
Letterer: Dave Landphear
It is truly a ridiculous catch, right? This is a shirtless bear-fighter as some kind of comic book superhero? Writers Leheup and Girner tell the story of this savage wild-man of nature that literally does fight bears shirtless… and pantless… and well nude all around. The government has contracted him out in the most absurd way possible to deal with this new bear threat in the major cities. Nothing hard to follow, just hard to swallow but that is what makes this comic great. It feels like a conglomeration of bad memes and poorly pitched ideas all around from the internet. Stupid, well yeah but it’s hilarious. In fact, this maybe the most I ever laughed while reading a comic book. The humor does not originate from the character telling jokes and one-liners like Deadpool for example, instead the humor derives from the sheer lunacy of the concept, where the supporting cast and reader cannot take this seriously but Shirtless Bear-Fighter does!
Pallach has an art style reminiscent of many past Marvel book as of late, a line between realistic and cartoonish, which I felt growing old over at Marvel but works well here. Every character has the right amount of attention and detail believably but Shirtless Bear-Fighter truly stands out from the rest, as a character draw with completely different lines. His muscles and hair are over exaggerated like a bad 90’s comic. He comes off like a twisted King Leonidas from 300 but in a more animated form. Pallach helps add comedy with details like X eyes and giving the fight scene panels a anime like flare, where it felt like I just watched Dragonball. Spicer adds great colors with this being in a natural environment mostly with mostly greens and some browns. For some people when you see and visit nature you never want to leave, I felt that way looking at Spicer’s work, especially on the fighter’s home which he could have used simply one shade of brown but used many giving it character and making it stand out to what his house truly is which you may glance over at first. Letterer Landphear does his part in adding humor but literally adding the word “Bear Punch” to action panels in big red, concrete cracking letters and utterances of other actions like “Leap” showing that no one is taking this comic seriously.
Want to put your brain on autopilot and just enjoy a few belly laughs then I recommend Shirtless Bear Fighter, as the first issue only keeps getting dumber and sillier (and I mean that in a good way) with each page. Image and the team certainly know their audience of young, internet browsing, comic nerds when it comes to this first title in a five issue series. You almost have to read it to believe it.
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