SkullKickers issue #7  Story by Jim Zub (Zubkavich), Art by Edwin Huang, Colors by Misty Coats and Published by Image Comics

Review Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Skullkickers is a series that we (admittedly) passed on but not for any particular reason.  Every passing month, we saw the comic sitting on the rack and with each of these months; we looked more and more at the book until we finally took the plunge.  What we found was a surprisingly funny action/fantasy book that feels more like a buddy film.  Serendipitously enough, issue #7 is a great jumping on point that opens with narration of the story throughout previous issues.  So far the story is about two mercenaries, who shall remain nameless, with one a dwarf and the other a hulking mass of a man (and is oddly armed with a modern-looking pistol) named the Duo.  The Duo is in the business of kicking the skulls of monsters in this medieval world.  Sucked into an assassination of a nobleman, they are lead to a death cult and demons.  The Duo are whisked away in celebration of heroic triumphs of events from previous issues with the assassination is still unresolved.  The event in question involves vanquishing of demons but not before the possession of the dwarf’s leg by a demon ( as told to us in the narration, but anytime you can say the phrase “a dwarves leg was possessed” we say do it).

With everyone up to speed, the issue starts off as the Duo are on their way to the big city in celebration of their exploits.  The Duo, not being used to the frilly life of the noble people of their world, are briefed on the noble customs.  Of course like the saying goes, you can take the boy out of the trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the boy, so the Duo show their rough edges.  Between feeling uncomfortable in their new fancy clothes, and the polite and proper dinner conversation, the Duo fail miserably.  As dinner continues, the mysterious assassin, Kusia, sets his sights on the noblemen with two fairy helpers watching in on frustration.  Not wanting to pass up the opportunity, the fairies take action by hiding themselves from everyone and starts to kill off the noblemen.  Instead of getting help, the Duo get involved and let’s just say, they won’t be asked back for dinner anytime soon.

Jim Zub writes a great buddy film disguised as a fantasy comic book meant in a very loving way.  Zub blends the humor well in this book between tough in check to straight comedy and effortlessly navigates the tricky waters of humor in comics.  It’s a safe bet that Zub played D&D because this comic feels like a great run campaign.

On the art side of things, it’s truly a team effort on this book.  From Edwin Huang’s art to Misty Coats’s colors, each aspect of the art adds to the success of this book.  Huang’s art work is perfect for this book and his character designs of the Duo is handled well by making the two stand out amongst the rest of the inhabitants of their world.  Coats’s colors run from moody to warm to inviting which helps with the feel of the book.

If you are not reading this book, consider this a ringing endorsement.  This book is funny, has lots of action and is a standout from those other books on the shelves.

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