Review: Ringside #4

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Art: Nick Barber
Colours: Simon Gough
Lettering: Ariana Maher

In issue #3 of Ringside Danny Knossos, the former pro wrestler who used to perform as Minotaur, stole a taser from Terrence, a credit collector he made friends with, in order to get his revenge on the people who beat him up. But Terrence himself persuaded him not to use it, as those he is planning to go against are very, very dangerous people. Still, he gets beaten within an inch of his life.

This issue #4 opens at a party in honour of a woman running for Governor. A security guard allows a dodgy-looking man through even without an invite, suggesting that they both work for the same people. His younger colleague, who doesn’t agree with this, has a dream: becoming a pro wrestler. This fact starts some banter between them, moving from aggressive to friendly to…

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Yes, to be fair, from this the first pages of the fourth issue of Ringside don’t seem exactly thrilling; but the story is, and this book does get more and more interesting page after page. Honest. I am sure we will find out more about the two characters who are central at the start of this issue, who do already have an interesting twist at a certain point. Also, we go back to Danny and Terrence, and… well, I will not write anything that may be considered a spoiler, but trust me, stuff gets real.

The characters, especially Danny but also Terrence and all the others, have a great depth; admittedly, part of Danny’s behaviour seems unexplainable, but I am sure that Joe Keatinge will give us a clear explanation: that’s what he has done until now.

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Nick Barber’s art is quite peculiar, not exactly “photorealistic” but really striking: in a few strokes, he manages to give each character a quite distinct appearance, that can’t be confused with any other’s. Their expressions are clearly readable, and every detail of the environments they find themselves in is perfectly – if not 100% realistically – depicted.

A particular praise must be reserved for colourist Simon Gough, who seems to adhere to Barber’s slightly “off” but still extremely expressive style by overloading certain colours and simply avoiding others – in most scenes, at least.

Even if you don’t care about pro wrestling (in which case my personal opinion is that you are just wrong, but that is not under discussion here), Ringside is a very interesting crime/thriller series worth following.

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