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Rock Candy Mountain #5 Review

A main character’s WWII background is revealed in this start to a new story arc.

Kyle Starks and Kyle Starks
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The delightful series of hobo culture and bare-knuckle fighting is back this week as Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer aim to reveal a backstory like no other. Jackson is already a tragic character from what we’ve gleaned so far, but prepare to get even more tragic feels this week!

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Finally, the dramatic origin story of the World’s Toughest Hobo, Jackson. We travel through deals with devils, world wars, trench battles, magical artifacts, shocking turns, and tragic decisions. The world’s only kung-fu hobo epic continues in this exciting flashback adventure.

Why does this matter?

Starks not only does a great job creating strange bits of hilarious dialogue, but also draws a mean fight sequence. Plus, don’t you want to know how Hitler ties into all this?

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Jackson wasn’t always a hobo.

Starks utilizes the concept of a man who can’t lose a fight and adds it to World War II very well. Basically put, if you can’t die and can knock everyone out who tries to hurt you how can you not use that to win a war? We get that and more as Starks reveals Jackson’s family and more pain and anguish tied to the curse of making a deal with the devil.

After reading this issue I got the impression Jackson is basically a superhero although in this case he blows eyeballs out the back of characters’ heads. The gore gets pretty gushy in this issue, but despite that there’s a Captain America feel to the character’s exploits. Plus Hitler! I’ll say no more about this character, but he adds an extra layer to the already complicated nature of the story. Though much of this issue is told via flashback the last two pages do reset the reader’s expectations well and begin pushing the plot forward so readers can anticipate what is coming next.

The art is great in Stark’s somewhat simplistic style with the gore mentioned above looking gross and exciting. The use of color is fabulous in this issue too with a key scene (see below) showing the green glow of the devil in an eerie and supernatural way. Schweizer’s colors also allow Stark’s lines to pop with orange skies or other ways of of coloring a scene (like night being cast in all blues) that’s very pretty.

Whoa, eerie.

It can’t be perfect can it?

This comic needed another page to help us understand what is going on with Jackson’s compatriot who appears to be stuck on some barbed wire. Giving him a single panel doesn’t quite give us enough to go on and ends up being confusing.

Is It Good?

An excellent new issue of Rock Candy Mountain that features all of Kyle Starks’ staples, from crazy violence to heartfelt character beats.

Rock Candy Mountain #5
Is it good?
Action packed and heartfelt. Bring on more!
An awesome flashback reveals a World War II superhero type story
The art is strong in part due to well colored panels
Heartfelt story
The last page doesn't quite cue us in on Jackson's compatriot's plight too well

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