Review: Dark Skullkickers Dark #1

I totally missed reviewing a few of these issues, but I’m back now! The first issue gimmick continues and frankly it can go on as long as the creators want since its funny. “The shocking truth about beer” no fucking way! I don’t even drink and I find that funny. This issue is a quick damn read and not a lot happens with the exception of the ending, but I won’t be spoiling that for you but it was still a hoot. Baldy has discovered that Shorty is alive… wait what? Sure we knew that Shorty was alive, but Rex and Kusia just assumed he was dead since he was dead. Now he’s drunk in a bar that shouldn't exist on the island leaving them a bit confused. Rex gets over it quickly after approaching the very drunken Dwarf and then getting a beer of his own. Meanwhile Kusia begins talking to a strange man that looks a little like a male version of herself. What’s weirder is that another version of Rex that shows up and it doesn't end there as a second Shorty also arrives… be it with gorgeous blonde locks of hair.

Dark Skullkickers Dark #1-1 copyObviously fans of the series have some clue as to what’s going on with the doubles, but even though I didn't the story wasn't lost on me. Without explaining too much, the bar is a nexus point in time. There is essentially only one bar in existence and every town that has a bar leads to that one bar. It’s interesting for sure, but it also leads into a multiverse/parallel earth situation and I’m really burnt out on that in the world of comics. Hopefully if it’s explored further, it will at least be amusing like I've come to count on with Skullkickers.

The writing is very strong. Even though the first issue reboot is a gimmick of sorts, it actually works. The story either recaps the previous issue enough for you to understand the current issue or it works on its own. Not many writers are strong enough to write a series in such a manner, so even though Zub wanted to get on the reboot train he really did it properly. Be sure to read his letter at the back of the issue, it’s funny and insightful. Overall, this was another fun and entertaining issue from Zub.

I absolutely love the art. I’m completely biased when it comes to Huang’s style and I really think that if I had stuck with the series after the first arc that I would've been hooked sooner. The entire issue is set in the bar and yet Huang manages to make that interesting and fun. Sure there’s a bar fight, but that’s not exactly original is it? Well Huang made it cool looking and that’s all I cared about.

In all seriousness, you shouldn't be afraid to jump on with this issue. Sure it’s just a continuation of the ongoing series, but it’s a great starting point for any reader. What really makes it great is that fact that the writer and artist understand the medium and use everything that possibly worked in another comic, in this comic, but rather than it being a mess it just works. Everything about this issue and series comes together to form one of the best titles currently being published in comics… and yes I know that it will technically reboot next month and I still find that funny.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Jim Zub

Artist: Edwin Huang

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 7/3/13