Written by Jim Zub
Artwork by Edwin Huang
Inks by Kevin Raganit
Colouring by Misty Coats
Colour Flats by Ludwig Olimba
Cover Art by Edwin Huang & Jeff Cruz
Lettering by Marshall Dillon
Skullkickers #33 by Jim Zub is the third in a new story arc following the antics of some drunken miscreants that call themselves mercenaries.
I say story arc, but to be honest the chaos ensuing on these pages is just one extended bar brawl with the walls of dimensions caving in on all sides, allowing more alternate versions of our mercenaries to flood in and join the fight.
As usual the comic is funny and self aware, not taking anything too seriously. The imagery is nice, and the team that work on this do a good job to consistently produce the same quality. I enjoy every aspect of these comics and would really love to see it taken up as a cartoon, it is so lively on the page.
Panel layouts are not all that exciting at times but that doesn’t detract too much as the quality of the images inside the boxes is eye candy. I love how, as the different groups break in, Zub has them introduced in a cheesy and typical style of different entertainment genres. I almost choked on my tea chuckling!
It took me until this episode (having only started reading this story arc with no prior exposure) to realise it was not a large group of heroes… it was just TWO but many versions of them. They are so varied and unique, yet now I see it – still the same two key characters! They are likeable and feisty, and somehow encapsulate most elements of adventure parties in just two people.
The puns continue to be fresh and well placed and I have to say that though the comic is just a continual ball of action and chaos there is method in the madness. I especially like how one of the main characters (the original beer swilling barbarian) spends the entire comic just making his way through the melee to the bar to get a drink. Is the whole point of this comic just about him getting a beer? Part of me thinks that it could very well be!
Fear not, there are plenty of dimension breaching demons and aid from unexpected sources to keep the team busy, and of course a lovely cliff hanger. It really stands out for me from a lot of other comics, somehow finding the winning formula for making it a true gem. Even the violence is silly and the comedic element softens the blows.
The splash pages are great, and the Letterer here really brings it all together – Marshall Dillon is a good example of how a good letterer can make your comic really something.
It is no wonder it is hitting 33 issues already!