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

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

REVIEW: 'Bonehead' #2 by Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, and Sakti Yuwono

Bryan Hill pumps the brakes a little in the follow up to the fast-paced debut of 'Bonehead' with more great world building. The mystery surrounding Bonehead 56 deepens but we at least get some backstory and details about what his arrival means for a pair of brothers with opposing viewpoints.


BONEHEAD #2   
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill Artist: Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono Letterer: Jaka Ady Graphics: Comolo Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 31, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score:★★★★☆ (4/5)
After a thrilling video game-like first issue, issue two gives way to the brothers Kray. Aleph is a tech scientist examining the unconscious "56" and marveling at his abilities. He reminds him when his brother Hideki roamed the city as the vigilante Blackdeath. Hideki is a Gladiator (cop) now and he questions Aleph's methods with 56 and its legalities. Nonetheless, they need 56 to be free on the streets for now so they can monitor him. The brothers c…

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #1 by Mark Millar and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz

Hit-Girl is most certainly back and as deadly and crazy as ever. She's gone international looking to fight injustice and find a worthy sidekick. Mark Millar is in top form with help from artists Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Sunny Gho. The heart of the Kick-Ass legacy lives on as bloody and as thrilling as you remember.


HIT-GIRL #1
Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Sunny Gho Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 21, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The retirement of Dave Lizewki as the original Kick-Ass has left a void in Mindy's crime-fighting life. Trying to recruit his replacement has been challenging to say the least. She's going to go it alone and taking her skills global as a cry for help leads her to Colombia.

Millar hits the floor running with a wild prison break, Mindy parting ways with an unworthy partner, and a grieving mother looking for justice. The sudden blitz back to the world of Kick-Ass is like comfort food for comic book fans. …

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 2/7/18

What a week in comics! There are so many great books out this week that I couldn't include them all on this list. Take a look at this killer's row of shiny new comics.



(W) Sean Murphy (A/CA) Sean Murphy
Jack's mind and body begin to betray him as he prepares for an inevitable showdown with Batman, and Bruce himself struggles to keep his team united. As the game gets tougher, Batman seeks counsel from a shocking source-and after Wayne Manor is infiltrated, a car chase for the ages aims to curb Napier's supercriminal crew once and for all.


(W) Paul Dini, James Robinson, Jeff Lemire, Steve Orlando, Mark Russell, Kyle Higgins, Alisa Kwitney, Phil Hester (A) Guillem March, Frazer Irving (A/CA) Kelley Jones
It's hard being a monster... and even harder being a monster in love. Sparks will fly and hearts will be broken when the ghouls and ghosts of the DC Universe assemble to bring you the Valentine's Day Special that no one saw coming!


(W) Tom King, Len Wein (A) Kell…

ADVANCE PREVIEW: 'BLACK [AF]: America's Sweetheart' by Kwanza Osajyefo and Jennifer Johnson

Can a black woman be America's first superhero?


Eli Franklin is a 15-year-old girl living in rural Montana--and she just happens to be the most powerful person on the planet.

In the aftermath of the world learning that only black people have superpowers, Eli makes her debut as the superhero Good Girl, on a mission to help people and quell the fear of empowered blacks.

When a super-terrorist threatens to take away everything Eli has worked toward, will donning a patriotic costume be enough for her to find acceptance?

America's Sweetheart expands BLACK into a universe of heroes.

BLACK [AF]: America's Sweetheart
Written by Kwanza Osajyefo (BLACK) and illustrated by next breakout artist Jennifer Johnson. With a gorgeous cover by Sho Murase. Letterer: David Sharpe
Designer: Tim Smith 3
Editor: Sarah Litt
Published by Black Mask Studios

Based on characters created by Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 from the world established in BLACK, the breakout comic book series by Osajyefo and Smith, …