The Western is a dying genre with only Tarantino and a few comics here and there populating the comic stands. It seems like a genre that people want and like, but don’t ever actually support with sales. So color me interested when I saw that IDW had a Western out this week. Is it good?
Fistful of Blood #1 (of 4) (IDW Publishing)
This is actually a re-release of the work originally made by from Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley some fifteen years ago. This version has re-mastered artwork by Kevin Eastman, all-new colors, and making-of bonus materials. It’s a tale of a mysterious woman who winds up in a small town you’ve seen a hundred times in westerns. Some men find her unconscious with torn clothes and plan to do bad things to her, but as luck would have it she’s a badass who can handle her own.
Why does this comic book matter?
This is an homage to the Clint Eastwood film A Fistful of Dollars only there are zombies, a nearly nude woman, and it’s set in the future. A few cool concepts smashed together make this feel very original yet still tied to the classic film. Plus it’s got a science fiction type of story going on as the monsters prey on tourists who enter the town which used to be a primo location for filming movies. These elements are the base of what is essentially a very simple premise to deliver some fantastic art.
Her breasts are bigger than her head!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The art is solid, with a grungy look strengthened by a nearly constant paint splatter throughout. The protagonist is a bit over the top as she’s nearly nude with huge breasts, but it has a graffiti feel that makes the scantily clad woman more badass than exploited. Then again, this is a grindhouse type of comic, and it’s not intending to win any awards for writing. It does, however, deliver crazy action and B-movie ideals.
It’s a good time for this comic to be re-released as the strong female protagonist is something we keep revisiting recently. The character doesn’t say a word, but maybe she doesn’t have to. She doesn’t take s--t from anybody and she’s as deadly as a viper. Who she is and where she came from will probably never be explained, but that’s okay. Not knowing makes the book almost mythological.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
There aren’t a lot of answers; something that is okay to some extent, but it makes it hard to grasp the characters and world they live in. Things seem to be just happening to suit the action and art, which makes the experience somewhat empty.
That’s a big hole.
Is It Good?
Fans of grindhouse type action and horror movies should not miss this western about a girl with no name. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy maybe the gritty graffiti art will.