Comic Review: Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel To Be Kin #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

The newest installment of the Shaolin Cowboy Saga has arrived! The Shaolin Cowboy has faced off against the likes of King Crab, an army of the undead, and a whole […]

The newest installment of the Shaolin Cowboy Saga has arrived! The Shaolin Cowboy has faced off against the likes of King Crab, an army of the undead, and a whole slew of cronies, but this might be his greatest challenge yet, homeschooling as a parent.

Much like the previous installments, Geof Darrow kicks off the book with a whole lot of humor and action, which is to be expected with this series by now. What readers will discover is how consistent it is in regards to the tone and world that had been established in previous entries. Darrow’s writing is full of all kinds of quirky humor, with sharp, ballistic action that just takes the reader on a trip that they didn’t know they needed, but will thoroughly enjoy.

For those that aren’t familiar with this series, they might have an easier time getting into this installment than they would have in regards to the previous installments. Witnessing the Cowboy in a scenario where he is a surrogate father is different yet fitting to the world that he inhabits, where all kinds of chaos follow suit. The new antagonist is as weird as the previous antagonists of this series and fits right into the world that Darrow has created since the inception of this series.

What is often a standout with this series is the magnificently detailed, brutal yet highly rendered line work that only Geof Darrow can deliver. His ability to draw all kinds of things from weapons to choreographed fight sequences, to all kinds of creatures and action is just a sight to behold. Whether you’re a new reader or long-time reader, there is no denying that Darrow puts his all in everything that he illustrates, and his consistency in quality is something to marvel at. Paired with Dave Stewart’s colorwork, and Nate Piekos’s lettering, this is just a brilliantly crafted comic that doesn’t take itself seriously, yet still has substance in quality and themes despite all of the insanity that it contains.

There isn’t much that needs to be said other than that Geof Darrow has returned with another installment of Shaolin Cowboy, and it’s a refreshing reminder of why comic books as a medium is a gem of a medium. If you enjoy movies like Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle, kung fu films, heroic bloodshed, Deadpool, and stuff of the like, or enjoy seeing an auteur of the comics medium creating what they do best, then you’ll enjoy this book. Add this to your pull list for new comic book day.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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