Written by Tim Midura
on Friday, August 15 2014 and posted in Reviews
Four new tavern tales with long lasting impacts!
From Image Comics comes Skullkickers #30. This issue of Tavern Tales is co-written by Jim Zub and Will Hindmarch, with art by Jeff Cruz and Royce Southerland. The cover by Cruz shows various incarnations of Rolf and Rex through the ages.
Capping off the fifth arc, as with every arc is Tavern Tales, though Jim Zub takes it in a different direction here, using the same writers and artists for all the stories instead of a different team each tale and by showcasing Tavern Tales Through Time, four short stories highlighting alternate versions of Rolf and Rex.
Throughout all four different genre stories, the common threads that make Rolf and Rex unique as partners, are ever present. In Shaolin Skull Battle, Li-Shi keeps Rex’s cool demeanor, while Lou-ku is the mischievous troublemaker. Jim Zub really gets to show off his writing talent here with a martial arts tale, a superhero story and a biker brawl, all set around his trademark wit and humor. Will Hindmarch’s pulp sci-fi story is a perfect fit alongside Zub’s narratives.
Both Jeff Cruz and Royce Southerland were ideal artists for this issue as they both could switch up their art styles flawlessly. Cruz uses thin lines and bright pastels in homage to wuxia in Shaolin Skull Battle and clean, simple linework, with flat, muted colors, dripping with benday dots to give The Sky Countess of Jupiter that pulp, old-school feel. For Axeman The Skull Knight, The Darkness of Humanity’s Folly: Year One, Southerland uses chunky, bold lines and dim colors to give it modern-Mazzucchelli mannerisms. In Fill ‘Er Up, an homage to From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, he uses a more realistic-style, mixed with plenty of blood and guts, standard in any Skullkickers issue.
Skullkickers #30 takes the well established short story issue and turns it on its side, with Zub stating this will have influence on the final arc, as opposed to other non-canon short stories. With the final arc set to launch in 2015, new readers will have plenty of time to pick this up and jump into the funniest, cleverest, most actioniest series available!
Not sold? Jim Zub offers the early volumes online for free.
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