Friday, November 22, 2013

Review - Hardcore Luchador #1

"I don't care if they're made of explosive bunnies. We'll take them all!"

If you ever seen a wrestling match in your life (not the Olympic or amateur stuff, but "professional), you know there's a formula that has to be followed. Intense action, both in and out of the ring, rivalries shelved for partnerships, mysterious entrants laying claim to the title and a massive world underneath the ring. Quick, which one of the above descriptions doesn't seem right? If you said the last one, then you clearly haven't read Hardcore Luchador #1

The first issue is written and penciled by Angelo Gines, Jr. and colored and lettered by Topher Steven.

The Hardcore Luchadors are the tag team champions, squaring off against Dos Genericos in front of a screaming audience. They're match is going about as expected, considering the popularity and status of the Hardcore Luchadors, until a new opponent enters the proceedings in Negador. Alongside Brimstone, the duo prove to be a little more than the tag team champs were expecting. There's also some sand people and a giant turkey mixed in to ensure that the craziness remains as ridiculous as it possibly can.

For starters, Gines, Jr. (and Steven) are both wrestling fans. The majority of the issue captures the essence of a wrestling match, with everything from folding chairs to being thrown through the announce table. In fact, the entire issue is set against that backdrop, with even the wrestlers fighting in the mysterious world much like them in a wrestling match. The dialogue by Gines, Jr., is very defining, giving each character their own unique personality that helps carry along the story. Speaking of story, the concept of the villain appearing amidst a wrestling interruption is pretty brilliant; it makes it so that the wrestlers think it's all part of the act. It's very meta in that regard.

Gines, Jr., handles the art duties and he does a fantastic job. Characters are bold and illustrated much like those you would see from Genndy Tartakovsky, defined by thin yet bold outlines and paying little attention to an excess of physical detail. These are characters illustrated with a lot of positive carelessness to them, in that the pencils help convey the free spirited nature of the story. That free spirit is further emboldened by Steven's colors, all of which are very vibrant and continue to set the tone of a raucous wrestling match turned real life battle.

Everything about Hardcore Luchador #1 is just plain fun. Wrestling fans will definitely get a lot more out of the Total Package (see what I did there), but there's still a lot of zaniness otherwise that you can pick it up with little to no knowledge of how pro wrestling works. The first issue feels very open and shut, offering a resolution to the immediate threat, but leaving the looming spectre of something greater down the road. If you're looking for something that's slightly off, yet still manages to feel so right, then Hardcore Luchador #1 is the book to check out.

Hardcore Luchador #1 is available via Comixology now.


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