This issue has something for everyone.
It features a well told story laid out on exceptional artwork.
Spoiler alert – this review may include reveals you may want to experience for yourself.
We start off with a monk named Stabb Fisticuffs, who apparently is a pacifist, as he makes his way back home to the nearby monastery.
What he encounters tests his belief in nonviolence and he proves himself to be a real tough character.
The story takes place in part in Scene City, where “A rigid caste system of super cool dudes, hip cats, and posh scenesters run everything. All under the iron fist of crime lord and mayor, Well Dressed Man.” The rest of the story takes place in the Sleeping Baby Dragon Sanctuary, a haven for peace lovers that apparently can’t escape the violence and evil in Scene City.
The creators offer a bit of foreshadowing when saying, “But our story doesn’t start here. Scene City is where the story ends.”
It appears Stabb Fisticuffs has a violent past and has raised the ire of Well Dressed Man. While we don’t know much about either person, we are shown just enough to pique our interest.
The pacing is spot-on and the pages breeze by, while the fight scenes are kinetic and a pleasure to watch.
One trick the creators of the book use is to show stats of the characters as if they’re in a role playing game, complete with attributes, weapons upgrades, and the like. One can really see the whole story play itself out as an RPG or video game.
The issue is also called “Scene 01,” another successful attempt to have the reader view the comic book as animation.
On the last page, a new character is revealed and the next issue is set up. At this point we’re invested in Stabb Fisticuffs’ life and left waiting for what’s to come of him.
Penciller/Inker Courtland Ellis does a tremendous job of producing razor sharp images within a panel design that’s a treat to the eye.
Ellis reveals a shard of Stabb Fisticuffs’ past in a couple of pages where he has a flashback to a violent encounter that evidently haunts him.
Writer/Letterer Joseph Krzemienski, Ellis, and colorist Graey Erb have created a new world in which the reader is offered glimpses of a dystopia, a world in which we may not wish to live, but prefer to visit it from time to time.
This title is a lot of fun to read!