Shirtless Bear-Fighter #1
- Writer: Jody Leheup, Sebastian Girner
- Artists: Mike Spicer, Nil Vendrell
- Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: June 21 2017
- Notes: New monthly series
“After being betrayed by the bears that raised him, the legendary Shirtless Bear-Fighter wanders the forest he’s sworn to protect, fistfighting bears, eating flapjacks, and being the angriest man the world has ever known! When wild-eyed, super-strong bears attack the citizens of Major City, Shirtless ventures into the human world to do what he does best…PUNCH THOSE BEARS IN THE FACE! But all is not as it seems. Someone is manipulating Shirtless…and only by confronting the demons of his past can Shirtless hope to save his future! A heart-filled, hilarious, tall tale for the ages… you don’t want to miss SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER! – See more at: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/shirtless-bear-fighter-1-of-5#sthash.diMGzhaw.dpuf.”
Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):
A hero who is shirtless and fights bears. Is there more to say so such a concept? Or perhaps, is there some deeper context one is missing here?
Life is hard, and sometimes the marketed melodrama of the comics multiverse is a bit much. With that, is something that calling to the primal instinct of action where a hero fights something more than human, which is never enough on the comic shelves. Such is cathartic, where the escapism leads to great fantasy. Enter the Shirtless Bear-Fighter, a story that stays true to form and excites those who love brawls and over-the-top action.
So, he is also pantless. Such is a bit of the comedic touch, that turns this new series into something, to be fun and ridiculous. A supporting cast arrives, giving a new call to action for mighty here, to a heightened situation involving the activities of his fursome adversaries. The supporting cast is also fun, for their ridiculous tropes that often play off mysterious daring macho types. We learn more on our shirtless and pantless hero than the action. He likes flapjacks and lives a comfortable life of solitude. We also get into his background origin story, also ridiculous but leads towards a dramatic reason for his hate for all bears.
Where Shirtless Bear-Fighter swings hardest is the dialogue and exposition of his world. Much here, feels like Popeye where he feels the heroic calling and dashes in with overconfidence. The first issue doesn’t have much in consequences but leaves room for heightened conflict. The action is enjoyable, with elements in its panel display and transitions with feeling old school Marvelism and Shonen style manga. The art is also distinct, with a style and attitude matching the absurd premise. The colors are perfect, giving vibrancy to this action-packed world.
Overall, the first issue of Shirtless Bear-Fighter is a fun read. Though, such is too early in telling whether the premise and opening arc shall become more than the sum of its title. The ending sets up the further conflict, introducing a sinister connection that may lead towards a more interesting conflict. I look forward to seeing where it all goes, and more bear-fighting action.