Skull Kickers: 1000 opas and a dead body

Found in Teen Graphic Novels 741.5 Sk7o 2011

Reviewed By Cari Rérat

Skullkickers: 1000 Opas and a Dead Body

Written by Jim Zub, Illustrated by Edwin Huang, Color by Misty Coats

Teen Graphic Novel

Witty banter, blood-soaked violence, and old-school sound effects make this one of the most fun graphic novels I’ve read in a long time.  Our nameless heroes—a hairy dwarf (Shorty) and a bald muscle man (Baldy)—fearlessly hunt down and kill all manner of creatures (for a price, of course, and much to the chagrin of local law enforcement).  In this adventure, the duo is hired to recover the body of a slain dignitary which leads them to a den of the undead and the necromancer who controls the zombie hoard.  Baldy and Shorty, amid a flourish of zombie killing, destroy the necromancer’s crystal (and most of his teeth), unwittingly unleashing the power of a demon lord.  Once the power is unleashed, the previously controlled zombies band together to form one giant, unhappy undead thing bent on destruction.  This is bad thing that must be combated.  Luckily, our heroes are excellent at combat.

Zub’s writing is clever and fun and is delightfully enhanced by Huang’s art.  Even though our heroes don’t have names (besides the monikers given them by other reviewers that I have adopted here), they both feel fully fleshed.  Shorty is brash and impulsive quickly resorting to action (and violence).  Meanwhile, Baldy is thoughtful and observant preferring to use his wits (or his guns) instead of his abundance of muscles.  This story has an ending, but there are enough unanswered questions surrounding the dignitary’s death (conspiracy, perhaps?) to require sequels.  Personally, I can’t wait!  (In fact, volume 2 “Five Funerals and a Bucket of Blood” is on order)

Due to the blood-soaked violence, this might be more appropriate for high school readers.