Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Shirtless Bear-Fighter' #1 by Jody LeHeup, Sebastian Girner, Nil Vendrell, and Mike Spicer

I don't know where to start with 'Shirtless Bear Fighter.' Most of what you need to know is right there in the title, a shirtless man fights bears. What Jody LeHeup, Sebastian Girner, Nil Vendrell, and Mike Spicer have done is unapologetically campy, full of funny action movie tropes that make this a completely entertaining read from beginning to end.



SHIRTLESS BEAR FIGHTER #1 
    
Writer: Jody LeHeup, Sebastian Girner
Artist: Nil Vendrell, Mike Spicer
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

★★★★★ (5/5)

Who would you call if a giant bear began terrorizing the literally named Major City? What if you're having a romantic picnic in the forest when it's suddenly interrupted by a raging grizzly, what do you do? The only one that can save you is the bearded buffed out naked man living in a bear-house in the forest - Shirtless Bear Fighter. The imposing, fearless and angry man with the pixelated penis punches and body slams bears without hesitation. Raised and then betrayed by bears, Shirtless is a bear's worst nightmare and now he's been enlisted by the government to stop them from attacking the city. All he asks in return is 100% maple syrup and endless flapjacks (not pancakes!).

If this sounds entertaining to you (and it should) then get ready to immerse yourself in the craziest and funniest title this year. Shirtless is the Rambo of bear fighters and this over-the-top action comedy is earnest in its execution and unlike anything else in comics. It's a rare treat from Image Comics that doesn't do a lot of this type of wacky comedic adventures. LeHeup and Girner set up this crazy story with a straight face, letting the absurdity of the situation play out to hilarious effect. It actually reminded me of the 1966 'Batman' television series. 

With the recently departed Adam West in mind, I couldn't help but draw comparisons between how the show and Shirtless share a similar approach. West played Batman as seriously as he could even when reciting cringe-worthy puns amid some wild shenanigans. It was campy and fun and so is Shirtless. Shirtless is all business, with a burning rage inside him against bear-kind born from an unspoken traumatic incident. He's oblivious to those around him that don't quite understand his lifestyle or powers. Yet, he's the only man for the job to save mankind from monster bears. 

What sells the book is the fantastic art. Nil Vendrell presents a larger-than-life figure in Shirtless with all his muscles, pixelated wiener and piercing facial expressions. The constant scowl, mashing of teeth, and stiff hairy chin make it clear that he's not to be messed with. Vendrell includes detailed backgrounds and it all looks like it would make a wonderful animated series too. The fight scenes are marvelously choreographed using larger panels for maximum impact. Mike Spicer's vibrant and rich colors in the forest especially, really makes the art pop adding texture and warmth. 

'Shirtless Bear Fighter' is ridiculously awesome and unabashedly silly. Call it a parody of action comics that take themselves way too seriously or an homage to movie hero tropes but either way this is an irresistibly good time. Sit back, relax and watch Shirtless fistfight bears, eat flapjacks, fly his bear-plane, and kick ass while completely butt-naked. It's the conspiracy comedy action thriller with rampaging bears and a burly man with a pixelated wanker you didn't know you needed. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #3 by Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, and Atilio Rojo

The story of Aphrodite is the focus of 'Cyber Force' #3. This compelling chapter continues to build the new world of Top Cow's reimagined original title. Corporate greed leads to murder and coercion until one doctor's obsession results in a powerful revelation.


CYBER FORCE #3 
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 30, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Marc Silvestri released 'Cyber Force' twenty-six years ago and this second reboot of the former flagship series rests in the hands of writers Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins. It was only a matter of time before we'd get the whereabouts of the sentient android Aphrodite. Hill and Hawkins dedicate this issue to her story, and it's probably the best in the series so far. We get very little Carin and Morgan in order to give what is essentially an unnerving scientific horror story. 
Cyber Data is the or…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Hack/Slash vs. Vampirella: The Heart Is A Lonely Killer' TPB by Shawn Aldridge and Rapha Lobosco

The Vegas strip heats up as Cassie Hack and her companion Vlad are on the trail of a deadly slasher and meet the lovely, yet lethal Vampirella. The team-up event you’ve been waiting for is a high stakes game of chance when they have to take on The Queen of Hearts!


This Volume collects the complete, 5-issue series by Shawn Aldridge (The Dark and Bloody) and Rapha Labosco (James Bond), and features all of the covers by Jenny Frison, Carli Ihde, Jen Vaughn, Kyle Strahm, Chrissie Zullo, Goran Sudzuka, Michael Dooney, Bully Tucci, and more!

Hack/Slash vs. Vampirella: The Heart Is A Lonely Killer TP
writer: Shawn Aldridge artist: Rapha Lobosco cover: Jenny Frison FC  |  136 pages  |  $19.99  |  Teen+  
COLLECTING ISSUES 1-5












PREVIEW: 'The Ghost, The Owl' Hardcover by Franco and Sara Richard

On a cool evening on the swamp, a figure appears dancing across the water. A human figure, but far from a human form. A Ghost, a young girl spirit that seems to have lost its way. A good Samaritan owl decides to help against the wishes of his animal brethren.


What mysteries does the ghost girl hold the secrets to and what will happen when she and the owl unlock them together?  Will they find out what happened to her? Will she find her way to where she needs to be?  What will happen to the animals in the swamp and surrounding forest? An adventure with the most unlikely of pairs, the Ghost, the Owl.

THE GHOST, THE OWL HC
In stores on 5/2/2018 Writer(s): Franco Artist Name(s): Sara Richard Cover Artist(s): Sara Richard
48 pgs./ A / FC                   $9.99