If you thought that Skullkickers was done with its shenanigans then I have news for you… no they ain’t! The creative team takes a break from their usual story to bring some “Tavern Tales’, but not before Zub chimes in with some great zero issue/prequel commentary. It’s funny stuff and sets the stage for what’s about to come. The issue itself is four separate stories following each of the Skullkickers and a special guest that ties heavily into the current story arc. The first story is written by Ron Marz and drawn by Stjepan Sejic. Off the bat you won’t recognized Sejic’s art. It’s very different from his usual stuff, but it’s incredible all the same. The story follows Kusia as she faces the next stage of her assassin training. It’s actually quite funny and follows the action-adventure formula of “everything that can go wrong will”, but Kusia manages to continue through and that’s where the humor comes from.
The next story is from Adam Warren and Remy Mokhtar and follows Rex. He’s in the Wild West being chased by a giant cat and running for his life. It’s instantly funny because he has hair, but Mokhtar does a great job of capturing his facial expressions so that you know that it’s Rex from the get go. It’s a short and sweet story with plenty of foreshadowing for his character... even though readers already know how it turns out.
The third story is about Shorty of course, but is actually narrated by Rex. It’s all about partnership and is very funny with great dialogue from Todd Dezago. The art was interesting. I didn’t love it, but Jeff Cruz has an interesting style and I would actually check out more of his work for a different series. I don’t know if his style lent itself to the comedy very well and that hurt the jokes.
In general I think all of the stories were pretty funny and stayed true to the Skullkickers brand. It did feel like a filler issue, but I think in a strange way it was an important addition to the first issue reboot experiment. It was almost like it needed to be done in order to prove a point. I liked it a lot just for that reason alone, but it also made sure it delivered the goods as well.
It’s also a great issue if you’re a new reader or just confused by the fact that the original number returned to the series. Even though Zub makes some great commentary about zero/prequel issues, he makes sure that this issue is successful in fulfilling the original intent of these types of issues. New or old readers are left feeling very welcomed on this series so check it out.
Writers: Ron Marz, Adam Warren, Todd Dezago, Jim Zub
Artists: Stjepan Sejic, Remmy Mokhtar, Yinfaowei Harrison, Jeff Cruz, Lar deSouza, Misty Coats
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 8/28/13