Category Archives: comics

Friday Night Fights: 100 Bullets, 2 Fists

I still have time to answer the call of Bahlactus.

100 bullets scan bare knuckle brawl

It starts with a vulgar display of power.

100 bullets scan bare kuckle fight

Then, I like that my brutal underground bareknuckle brawls have pseudo-philosophical tough-guy commentary.

100 bullets comic scan bare knuckle brawl

In the noir-ish underbelly of 100 Bullets, as in real life, its usually a bad idea to bet against a guy named Jackhammer.

100 bullets comics fight

Because stuff like this tends to happen.

100  bullets

All of the preceding comes from 100 Bullets: Strychnine Lives, book numero neuve of the greatest crime/conspiracy/whatever HBO show in comic form. I love it and cannot wait until it concludes and I can read the whole confusing mess all over again.

Friday Night Fights: Captain “Billy Jack” America

Bucky: You really think those Green Beret Karate tricks are gonna help you?
Captian America: Well, it doesn’t look to me like I really have any choice now, does it?
Bucky: [laughing] That’s right, you don’t.
Captian America: You know what I think I’m gonna do then? Just for the hell of it?
Bucky: Tell me.
Captian America: I’m gonna take this left foot, and I’m gonna whop you on that side of your face…
[points to Bucky’s right cheek]
Captian America: …and you wanna know something? There’s not a damn thing you’re gonna be able to do about it.
Bucky: Really?

Captian America Kicking Winter Soldier (Bucky)

Yes, really. You better believe it, son. Bahlactus does.

I’ve been reading the rather excellent Captain America omnibus collecting Ed Brubaker’s run (so far). I popped in briefly for the much-ballyhooed death but hadn’t been following otherwise. It’s a solid story and Epting does a good job drawing the requisite amount of body-swapping nazis, flying cars, and giant robots with a surprising degree of realism. He also depicts a mighty fine jaw kick.

Friday Night Fights: Espionage Done Right

It’s that time again. Bahlactus bangs his hammer and we rise to the bell.

queen and country: tara chase kicks ass

Comics don’t have to be about overgrown freaks in capes and tights. Queen & Country consistently proves this by telling excellent spy stories. Greg Rucka explores the high stakes world of international espionage without resorting to the laser-wristwatch camp of middle-period Bond. Tara Chace, top secret agent for Britain’s Special Section, gets the job done with grit and intelligence. Its a great comic and this is but one example of her putting her close quarters combative training to good use by mixing it up with this poor schmuck.

Friday Night Fights: Daredevil Mixes it Up With Bullseye. Again.

In the case of Daredevil v. Bullseye, Mr. Murdock employs some radical legal strategies. Normally counsel does not mention wanting to hear his opponents bones splinter. But then, usually the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for the use of throwing stars.

daredvil fights bullseye frank miller

So a lawyer does what he has to to win the case up to and including using his adversary’s firearm.

daredivl fights bullseye frank miller

He has no choice when Bullseye resorts to the controversial “This brick… mash your face” defense first utilized by Allen Dershowitz in Brick v. Face.

daredevil fights bullseye frank miller

But victory is what’s important, whether its established by a well-reasoned application of legal theory or choking your adversary until he stops moving.

bullseye fights daredevil 4 frank miller

I would be telling an outright lie if I said that a big part of the reason I’m in law school at all is the influence of Daredevil. Man, that’s sad. I hope Bahlactus can make me feel better.

Answer The Question

I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. I love The Question, and I have ever since I learned that he was the basis for the character of Rorschach in Watchmen. I always thought it was kind of weird that DC had never collected any of their Question comics from the mid to late 80s. Granted, the series finished well short of the graphic novel boom that we enjoy today, but I thought for sure that the character’s position at center stage in 52 would start the ball rolling and it finally did.

The character has kind of an odd history. He started out as a vigilante embodiment of Steve Ditko’s objectivist philosophy. Vic Sage, like many objectivist followers of Ayn Rand was something of an asshole. After the Charleton characters were purchased by DC, he got a metaphysical face lift (as it were). Zen and Violence collects the first six issues of his relaunch.

the question zen and violence


Vic Sage is an investigative reporter in the ridiculously corrupt Hub City. He’s trying to expose the wrongs of the political elite, but he has trouble making people care. He also carries on the fight as his faceless alter ego, The Question. Wearing a mask that makes his face look blank and a stylish fedora he kicks down doors and does the things vigilantes usually do.

But he is unfulfilled. After he meets (and receives an ass-kicking from) Lady Shiva and almost dies, he undergoes a spiritual metamorphosis. In the comic book equivalent of a training montage, he spends a one-page year recovering, training, and learning meditation/melee skills from the enigmatic and awesomely-bearded Richard Dragon.

question zen and violence richard dragon training montage

Then he’s ready to hit the streets with a Zen outlook and a whole new kind of cool.

The storytelling is solid, even if the art is a little 80s-tastic. The plot is straightforward enough for the reboot of the character and gives him the opportunity to kick some low level ass while adjusting to the new status quo. The villain of the first story arc, an insane preacher manipulating the drunken mayor in a half-assed scheme to create a world so corrupt that the rapture is bound to occur is slightly less than epic. But The Question is a street level hero and he works well with the smaller stakes. I hate it when vigilante characters end up saving the world. For The Question, trying to save the city is enough.

My biggest complaint with this trade is that only collects the first six issues and comes with $19.99 price tag attached. It’s worth it, but I would have been much happier if this series had gotten the Showcase treatment. The art does not need the glossy treatment it gets here and I think it would look awesome in black and white. As my local comic purveyor pointed out, Zen and Violence clearly has the numeral 1 on the spine, so I’m sure there will be more forthcoming if it sells. But I, for one, would love to have a bigger chunk of The Question in a much thicker collection.

Friday Night Fights: When The Question Met Shiva, He Got Schooled

the question fights lady shiva: zen and violence


The Question is old school. He is a scholar and a gentleman, so he doesn’t want to hurt the lady. But that’s no ordinary lady, it’s Lady Shiva. She does stuff like this:


question fights shiva : zen and violence


He started out as an Objectivist and later became kinda Zen, but neither his philosophy nor his awesome no-face mask can help him not get his ass kicked.


the question fights lady shiva, zen and violence


Fortunately for him, this was the first step down a road to bad-assery and he did what he had to do. Until he died. But neither that, nor this fight was the fault of Bahlactus.

Friday Night Fights: Kevin Matchstick Puts His Shoulder Into It

MAGE: Kevin Matchstick Throws Down


It’s an older entry into the lineup, from the original Mage: The Hero Discovered series by Matt Wagner. Kevin Matchstick is just an average guy who finds out he’s the reincarnation of King Arthur, complete with Excalibur in the form of a glowing magical baseball bat. But just cause he likes his Louisville Slugger doesn’t mean Kevin Matchstick can’t make with the fisticuffs. And that bald guy he’s punching? He’s a Grackleflint. I love that name.

This is part of Friday Night Fights. It all started with Bahlactus.