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Shirtless Bear-Fighter Volume 1 Paperback – December 12, 2017
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That said, there are some parts not suitable for smaller kids. Consider this a funny PG-13 book.
I can't remember the last time I laughed like this while reading a comic, all the while thinking "THIS IS AWESOME!!!" every panel. Yes, it's somewhat derivative (Pam Halpert's "Bear Man" one shot comic, anyone? Bonus points if liquid shot out your nose when it hit you what I was talking about ;) ). Yes, it's a book about a mostly naked guy punching bears (only one issue has the homoerotic "bear" connotation to keep the gag running). Yes, you probably want to wear Depends while reading it.
But in all seriousness, this is one of the best, most creative, funniest, freshest, well-formulated books to come out in…well…probably forever. I wish it wasn't a five-issue series, but I can see that there are really only so many times and ways a rage machine can punch bears and have it still be humorous. I'd throw this series out there with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Watchmen in terms of its potential impact on the comics industry (one can only hope). It will be a cult classic if nothing else, but given the constant regurgitation of the same ideas and characters coming out of the Big Two these years, this really has the potential to revitalize things and shake them up a bit.
Unfortunately, if you're under, say, 35, you may need a cultural touchstones dictionary to fully appreciate it... Or maybe just go back and watch 40-50 years of TV and movies. Start with the 1960s Adam West Batman series, or at least the movie ("Bear Repellant"... Classic!).
The art is irreverent and suits the story well. The inks are restrained, except when they shouldn't be, and then they are spot-on fantastic!
No, it's not the"great American novel." It's a comic about a guy punching bears. Given that premise though, it does have a surprisingly good story line, which I won't spoil for you here.
There's symbolism aplenty, some referencing old gags, but some more serious, without necessarily meaning to be--possibly the indirect product of our current political situation. Suffice it to say, that in our current political climate, where the "Bear" is in the news every day, threatening to tear apart our society, people from all political persuasions are looking for a leader--someone with the fortitude to walk up and punch the "Bear" in the snout. Some think he's here, some think he or she will come next election cycle to get rid of the Bear-controlled politicians.
Whatever YOUR politics (or lack thereof), this is a book that EVERYONE can relate to in one of the more perilous periods in our nation's modern history. It's no easy task for a book to tackle modern politics (I get the sense it wasn't on purpose) while inspiring everyone that the "Bear" and the controlling puppet masters WILL get their comeuppance before they destroy everything. Bravo to the creative team behind this book and their message of hope that the Ursine threat can and will be contained! Again, don't take it too seriously.
Buy it for an investment. It will probably crash, but if not, you won't be able to bear the thought of what you missed!
Buy it for fun! It is truly amusing. Don't take it or yourself too seriously though; it certainly doesn't.
Buy it for the art. Buy it for the wit. Buy it to annoy your PETA coworker who keeps writing "meatloaf is murder!" on your lunch bag.
The reasons don't matter. Just buy the series. Then sit back, suspend disbelief, and let this take you back to the testosterone-fueled comics of the 1970s, where men were men and so were the women, where bad guys were easy to spot, and pants were optional. Prepare to laugh and have a good time again with your comics. It's been too long! :)
I shouldn't have to say any more, you should already be reading it.