Shirtless Bear Fighter #1 (Image)

Rating: 5/5 – Who You Gonna Call When Good Bears Go Bad?
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

** Spoiler-Free Advance Review **
You can probably guess from the title that this is going to try to be a funny comic.  What you cannot tell just from the title is that the creative team, writers Jody LeHeup & Sebastian Girner and artist Nil Vendrell Pallach, succeed on a number of levels. Image Comics sent me the 1st 3 issues for advance review, and I loved all of them.  The only down-side for me is that now I’ve got a really long wait until I see the story continue in #4!

This is a comic that needs our help.  It’s not a super-hero book.  It’s not from Marvel/DC.  The creators are not “big names” in the world of comics.  (YET!)  This is the kind of title that will likely not get heavy orders in local comic shops unless people ask for it.   Final Order Cutoff for Shirtless Bear Fighter #1 is not until Monday May 29th.  That gives plenty of time to ask your comic shop to order you a copy (and get some for their rack, too).  Cover A (on left above by Andrew Robinson) is Previews code APR170718 and Cover B (on right above by Tom Fowler) is Previews code APR170719

Humor is always going to hit different people in different ways.  For me the entire package was in my personal “humor sweet spot”, I loved it from beginning to end.  There are the broad strokes; embodied  in the sheer absurdity of the title, setup, characters, and situations.  There are the wonderfully literal sound effects.  The visual humor built into the backdrop of the world.  The spot on humor of the dialogue and narration (which we dive right into with a riff on the Davy Crockett theme song belted out by an Animal Control officer sent to investigate a bear sighting on the 1st page).  And don’t get me started on Shirtless’ cabin or the Bear-Plane or the Fuzzy Wipes billboard…

SBF 1-p6.jpg

CREDIT: Image Comics (used with permission)

And then there is Shirtless himself (and he could be called ‘shortless’ as well for a goodly portion of the 1st issue), he does have a bit of an aversion to clothing.  We’re introduced to him doing what he does best…fighting bears.  Of course, the book would just be an exercise in meanness if he just went around beating up on bears.  Or if the bears were painted exclusively as mindless killing machines.  He doesn’t and they’re not.  There’s a good backstory related in this debut issue to both set up Shirtless as a character and explain his relationship with the bears, both positive and negative.  But I don’t want to give away too much and spoil the experience for you as a reader.

The bottom line is that if you find the idea of a brawny naked guy fighting bears funny, know that the only proper topping for a flapjack (don’t you DARE call it a pancake) is 100% pure maple syrup, and like your humor when it crosses over into the absurd, then you should be talking to your local comic shop and asking them to pre-order Shirtless Bear Fighter #1 for you.  FOC is May 29th.  Previews order codes are APR170718 & APR170719, and the comic will be in your shop in June.  I think you’ll be glad you did.  Shirtless Bear Fighter is hilarious, if you like that sort of thing!  Now I’m going to go and read my review copies again…

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
) By Fans who Love Comics for Fans who Love Comics

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