Review: Savage Skullkickers #1

It’s pretty hilarious that they keep changing the name of this series, even though it’s really just a continuation on the original Skullkickers series. In case you didn’t know or hear about it, Savage Skullkickers #1 is the second part to the story that began in Uncanny Skullkickers #1. Having two back-to-back #1 issues is probably a good way to seriously confuse some collectors, and an even better way to get some new readers. In a lot of ways this name change is right in line with the humor in the series, a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is genuinely hilarious.

This issue starts with Rolf Copperhead (who spent the entire previous issue dead in the water) falling into hell naked, while the story is being told by a narrator who is already dead. The Dwarf meets Charon and pays the death toll and they move through the underworld towards judgment. Meanwhile, Rex and Kusia are pretty much getting boned by extremely coordinated fighting apes, who end up beating there ass and dragging them back to their leader Silverspine. Silverspine arrives to examine the captives and proclaims Kusia to be of no threat to them, because she is an elf. Upon smelling Rex, Silverspine announces that he is human, but also that he has slain the Crazed Exile (back in issues 8-9, don’t worry, I didn’t read it either). Learning this gets all the apes chanting violently and we’re not really sure whether our heroes are safe or not.

The story moves back to Rolf, who has now reached the place where souls are judged for what they did in life. Rolf being a complete asshole cuts straight to the front of the line. The demon reads off his ridiculous list of offenses, which he tries and fails to justify in a hilarious fashion. Before he can be sentenced, Taxthalamus (a character from the very first story arc) appears to save him from damnation and force him to come back to life and more or less do his bidding. In doing this, the demon has unbalanced the scales of life and has effectively made the Dwarf immortal. While all this is going on, Rex is forced to prove himself to the apes by entering the Pools of Reflection, which has exactly the effect the name implies.

The writing in this series is still really great and pretty damn hilarious. The whole comic is narrated by an already dead narrator who seems pissed off that nobody is paying attention to him, and it works perfectly. The use onomatopoeias is great, using phrases like “High quality ape teamwork” which is funny, but accurately describes what is going on. Bringing Rolf back to life was expected, but it works because he spent the entire previous issue literally dead in the water. If you’re an original fan of the series, you’re probably thrilled that Taxthalamus is back since he seems like a pretty badass villain. The characters are still fantastic; all three are diverse and have distinct personalities that bring different aspects to the story. Not only that, but the ending of the issue is great and the next issue looks like it will be just as great. If you read Uncanny Skullkickers and liked it, the writing is really just more of the same quality.

The art is fantastic; visually the style is very pleasing to the eye. The book is colorful and looks very polished and the panels look good. If you like looking at naked dwarf ass then this is the comic for you!

This issue is pretty damn good and this series is already starting to grow on me. Most comic book writers take themselves way too seriously and it’s clear that Zub isn’t like that. Honestly, quality humor is surprisingly hard to find in comic books and so far Zub is hitting the nail on the head. The thing is this issue isn’t quite as good as Uncanny Skullkickers. There isn’t anything specific that’s wrong with it necessarily, but it just didn’t seem quite as funny or well done as the last one. It’s still great, don’t get me wrong, but I was definitely more in love with the first. Honestly, the biggest problem is that the dwarf wasn’t floating dead in the water for another whole issue, it still would have been funny as shit to see. Regardless, definitely pick both up; it’s a good time to get on board with this series.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Jim Zub

Artist: Edwin Huang

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 3/27/13