The greatest hobo comic ever created is back this week and it aims to deliver more Satan, kickass fighting, and some humor too. Just another day in Kyle Starks’s Rock Candy Mountain.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
CHAPTER 6: “WHERE THE RAIN DON’T FALL” Jackson, the World’s Toughest Hobo, is on the back stretch of his long haul to find the mythical Rock Candy Mountain, and while he thought mayhaps he was home free, he’s now stuck on a train with a legion of G-Men, led by the vivacious and indomitable Babs Bardoux, who’s looking to put our hero in leg chains and toss him in the jug before he can ever achieve his destiny. I hope you like train fights, dear readers, because we’re about to ride the blinds into Epic Hobo Action! Also, Pomona runs into an old friend. Okay, not a friend. It’s the Literal Devil.
Why does this matter?
Kyle Starks has a way of choreographing a scene. The man clearly has an eye for the kinetic movement of a comic scene, because there’s a cinematic quality to his work. Add in his desire to show off the kicking and punching of a hobo and you have yourself this series!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I don’t think they made it.
The first few pages of this comic are exciting in a visual way. From the introduction of Satan to a camp (FWOOOOSH!) to Jackson’s fist fight on the top of a train, there’s a visual dexterity throughout the issue that’s exciting. Cut between these two scenes Starks develops Pomona’s character well (it tends to happen when talking to the devil) and the FBI agent who has been trailing Jackson the entire series. That’s some much needed development, as both of these characters have been half baked or at least supporting characters at best.
The action in this issue is excellent and might be the best of the series so far. Layouts seem to change and move about depending on the necessity of how Jackson wants to wallop the FBI agents and in a way it’s like a visual jazz. It’s exciting, easy to follow, and hits the right notes when it needs to be funny or exciting. Take for instance a moment where Jackson looks to the ground as the high speed train whizzes by. Amongst the whizzing trees and bushes Starks has put “Death” balloons and arrows to help us understand what Jackson is thinking. It enhances the stakes of the moment too, especially since we know Jackson can only defeat people in fisticuffs and not survive a high speed train.
The issue ends with a few threads culminating into high intensity moments. It’s evident a climax is coming up soon and that helps increase your anticipation for the next issue.
Like Indiana Jones!
It can’t be perfect can it?
The plot doesn’t move forward all that much. It’s an entertaining journey and Pomona has certainly given the devil a nice new direction, but Jackson is about where he started at the start of the issue. Given the next two issues are the finale, a lot is going to need to go down and the needle hasn’t been pushed too far in this issue.
Is It Good?
Some of the best fight scenes you’ll see in a comic all year. Starks has set up a two part finale here that is at once exciting and revealing of its characters.