Junk Food Fighter popped up on my radar due to its impressive art. Right off the bat it had a Frank Cho look to it that reminded me a lot of Liberty Meadows; just replace adorable talking creatures with grotesque junk food creatures. The story is pretty simple as it follows an out of work stunt man by the name of Dare Phoenix who has returned to his hometown. He’s cracking down on the junk food villains running amok on the city after finding some teenagers hopped up on blueberry pies trashing his place. He receives an anonymous tip about Pies Blue’s location and heads out to meet him. Pies Blue and his brownie minion have been set up though because they arrive at a school yard expecting to sell their goods and find it empty. Just before Dare delivers a fist to Pies Blue’s face he informs him that school doesn’t start for a few more weeks.
The story is very entertaining as Dare ends up in over his head. He also meets two other junk food villains along with his anonymous tipster who is ridiculously funny. While the story is simple and straight forward it actually manages to introduce the reader to the world and all characters within the first issue. We learn a little about Dare and his background while he tries to figure out what’s up with these junk food guys and it works. We don’t know what’s up with the junk food villains and that’s okay because now we have a mystery to solve with Dare.
It’s really all about the art with this issue. Kieran Howarth, the writer and artist of the series, spares nothing for this debut issue. It’s entirely in black and white with rich, thick inking. Every panel is jammed packed with detail, but it’s extremely clean-looking meaning that the ink doesn’t drown it out. What I found very impressive is that the art is consistent throughout the issue. I have seen indie comics in which the artist improved over the course of the issue making the art awkward, but Howarth’s style is very refined and that made for a great read.
The action in the issue is over the top, but very entertaining and easy to follow. The finale in particular is heavy on the action and very rewarding.
I don’t always mention this with comics, because truthfully it’s rare that it’s worth talking about, but the paper stock for this issue is great. The cover is thick, but it doesn’t feel like you’ve broken the spine when you open it. The paper stock has a nice feel to it and was a great match for the art as it almost made it shiny and wet looking.
I had a lot of fun with this issue and would definitely like to read more of Dare’s adventures battling junk food. I actually really like the message of battling junk food and think that Howarth could tell important stories later on in the series. Mostly though he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and telling entertaining stories with stunning visuals.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Kieran Howarth Publisher: Soda Vicious Price: $3.99 Website