I wasn’t a big fan of the first issue I'll just throw that out there to begin with. In fact it really rubbed me the wrong way. The second issue wasn’t as bad, but I think that scene from Scott Pilgrim vol 1. Says it all when Scott says, “So boring” after reading an email. That was literally what I said after finishing the book. It was boring. There were no peaks and valleys to this story it was just guy wants to do this thing and hey wouldn't you know it, he gets to do this thing. I don’t mean this offensively, but it was like a child wrote it. There is no conflict for the main character in any of these pages and in fact the biggest thing he has to overcome is a shitty tattoo and quitting his job due to his MMA haircut. Those aren't conflicts, they’re bad decisions that you've made and now how to live with. The story picks up from Oren’s first fight as an amateur fighter, when last we left him he was getting his ass handed to him. Low and behold he turns it around and comes out on top to win his first match, then his next four. Then he goes pro and wins that too. Then he spends all his prize money on a rooster tattoo. Do you see how I keep saying “Then he” at the start of each sentence? That’s due in part to how the narration is, it’s as if writer Blair Butler wrote the next panel with no clue as to what would follow it. The story and narrative are so mediocre that they become so beyond average making it frustrating to read. This is the most average/safest comic possibly ever. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people end up liking it since there are no other MMA comics out there (that I’m aware of), but this book isn’t doing the genre any favors.
Let’s complain about the art for a bit shall we? It’s okay, it does what it needs to do and gets the job done. Again, it’s very average. I mean this is a book about fighting and yet every fight is some of the most boring pages I’ve ever looked at. I don’t feel the excitement that the character is describing because nothing on the pages shows me that excitement. Also when they flash between the different fighters there was little to no difference between them and every opponent looks the same. The only one that stood out was the old guy with “Nancy” on his chest and only because I thought it was terribly stupid to have “Nancy” on his chest.
Honestly if you’re going to pick up a book about fighting this week pick up The Strange Talent of Luther Strode. It’s also from Image and it’s a far better story that actually understands the art of storytelling. All that this book proves is that just because you can talk intelligently about comic books does not mean you understand the craft of storytelling which is very apparently missing from this book. This is the second issue and I have no idea what the point of this series is. Does Oren’s brother die or something? Does he have a fall from grace? Really I have no idea why I would check issue three out unless I want to continue seeing everything go this guy’s way.
Writer: Blair Butler Artist: Kevin Mellon Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99