Title: Skullkickers: The Infinite Icons of the Endless Epic Review
Writer: Jim Zub, “Tavern Tales” – Will Hindmarch and Jim Zub
Artist: Edwin Huang, “Tavern Tales” – Jeff Cruz and Royce Southerland
Inkers: Edwin Huang and Kevin Raganit
Colorists: Misty Coats and Ross A. Campbell
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Trader Cover Artists: Espen Grundetjern and Edwin Huang
I didn’t know that Image was ending this wonderfully fun series. When this trade came across my laptop, I didn’t see it coming. It was fun and witty. It poked fun at comic book archetypes on every level. It even poked fun at companies and writers. While we take comic books serious, sometimes we take it way to serious. I enjoy the Skullkickers and this trade explains why.
While the subtitle is a mouthful, it is just that: a story about our favorite skull kickers as seen through different timelines and realities. I don’t know if this was the intention of the Jim Zub to poke fun at all of the recent alternate reality stories put out by the major comic publishers, but it feels that way. While I agree if you don’t keep up with all of the crossovers and back stories and retconning (that seems to become more and more commonplace), the average reader will be confused when picking up a favorite title. Quite honestly, it’s great to see someone poke fun at all of that stuff.
The first thing I love about this trade is that you don’t have to be an avid reader of the series to get it. You can just jump in and enjoy the fun. Here are two mercenaries who just kick butt all over the universe and in this case, all over the multiverse. This trade has it all: ninjas, robots, zombies, you name it. It’s hilarious from top to bottom.
The artwork by Edwin Huang, Jeff Cruz, and Royce Southerland collectively works. Then again, the artwork on Skullkickers has always been top notch. The panels are easy to follow along with the story. The incarnations of the main characters as Shaolin fighters, cowboys, knights, etc. make it all fit. Bottom line, it’s dope stuff and should be copped just for the artwork. I think what makes Skullkickers even better is that the artwork is topnotch. I dislike when comic books that focus on humor skimp on the art. Skullkickers is the complete opposite of it.
I know I keep repeating this part but what I enjoy about the Skullkickers is that it is sheer fun. I will admit that I am getting tired of the retconning where heroes are turned into anti-heroes (with the exception of Mark Waid’s Daredevil which is tremendously refreshing). I know that it’s the trend to have all of these anti-heroes, but I think there are enough heroes who came off as counter to the other mainstream heroes we all know and love. Stories like Skullkickers, remind me of why I got into comics in the first place. It’s sad to see this comic come to a close. This is the final trade. I hope Zub and Huang continue to create new and loveable characters.