By Dustin Cabeal
I would be reminiscent not to complete my review coverage of The Fist. I only wish that I had been able to do so during its Kickstarter run which successfully funded the first volume going to print. I would also like to have gotten a copy, but hey I was late to this part of the party… or had to leave early? I don’t know; I don’t party.
The concept around The Fist is brilliant in its simplicity. A man known as the right hand is on the run with his wife, who is a spaceship. He enters a fighting competition to get some money and shows that he’s damn near unstoppable with his right hand. The people he’s on the run from eventually send The Legs after him and now you can see how simple and brilliant the idea is. It’s always the little touches like an elite fighting force skilled in one area of the body and form up an entire other body… like Voltron I guess, we don’t see that part because The Fist as he calls himself, is like, “nah, fuck all that shit I’m on the run with my wife!” All of it leads up to the fight with his opposite the Left Hand, who is hellbent on taking everyone else’s body parts for himself, because he’s very sane and rational.
The final chapter of the story was new to me; I had already read, enjoyed and reviewed the first four issues, so I was looking forward to reading the last chapter of the volume. I will say this; it was much more in line with the first chapter which bookended the story nicely. The middle of the story begins to feel too serious, like the satire and comedy weren’t needed and hey, Jordan Kroeger shows that he doesn’t need the jokes to tell a good story, but the story is so much better when he is telling jokes. Especially when those jokes are The Fist renaming people as parts of the body.
The pacing of the story is quite good. I don’t know how many comics Kroeger has under his belt, but his understanding of the medium is apparent with his panel selection and the overall pace of the story. The story isn’t trying to be some deep metaphor for something else, but instead a bunch of jokes and fighting. Its pure entertainment because of that and I wish to god there were more comics like The Fist so that I could just have a laugh once a week while reading comics. Hell, three or four times would be better, but comics are just too damn serious right now… or worse, not very funny when they do try. The Fist is an exception because it's exceptional. See what I did there? Hit you with that Ligma.
Anyway, the artwork, also from Kroeger, is detailed, but messy. There’re thick lines, extra lines, detail upon detail to someone body or face. The ship/wife of the Fist is shaped like a fist. I’m fairly certain they have intercourse when he puts on the Nintendo power glove to fly her, and it’s all this wonderful stylized visual that works with the action and comedy of the story. That’s the key; it works with both elements. The comedic parts land because the art is supporting it and the action is easy to follow and dynamic. I dig and appreciate the art as much as I do the story.
You should most definitely check out Kroeger’s site for more Fist updates. I’m fairly certain that he’ll sell you a print copy once they’re done or at the very least you can grab the digital issues which are also sweet. And if The Fist is too indie for you then man oh man, I feel sorry for you and your jaded ass because this is a fun series that’s also a well-written and illustrated by a talent I’m sure will be in high demand soon enough. Get your Fist on while you still can, he said not knowing what that meant but knowing it felt right to say.
The Fist vol. 1