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Strongman Paperback – March 17, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

It's great...! It's really fantastic. [Gladfelter's] draftsmanship is so clean, [his] cartooning so deceptively simple but always right on target. The script is tight and engaging, hitting all the genre beats but never feeling mechanical. The dialog is a total joy to read! [Soule and Gladfelter] really bring something to every single character, even the bit parts are filled with fully realized people. The whole thing is super sharp... I really, really dug it, and tore through it without stopping, in one sitting, while other graphic novels by famous comic book cats were piled all around me half-read. --Josh Dysart, writer of BPRD 1946 and Unknown Soldier

The easiest thing to say about STRONGMAN is it has heart. But it does. It really does. First you start reading, then you start rooting, and then...you'll see. --Brad Meltzer, writer of DC's Identity Crisis and suspense novel author

Strongman delivers in the ring and out... It packs an emotional punch. A well-told story of redemption. Soule and Gladfelter pour their hearts into Strongman and it shows on every single page. Truly wonderful. --Jimmy Palmiotti, writer of Jonah Hex
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: SLG Publishing (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593621523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593621520
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I first fell in love with Charle Soule's work with 27, after watching an episode of the sorely missed Fresh Ink Online. Upon getting my hands on the first trade of 27, I devoured it, and went looking for all the Soule that I could get my hands on, which, in turn, led me to this less-well-known work, Strongman.

Strongman, serves as Soule's first graphic novel work, and doubles as a really solid debut. The story is as strong as the main character himself, known as Tigre; a man who has fallen out of the limelight for some thirty years. In Mexico, he was a wrestling legend, going 200-1-1, a star of over forty films, and a hero in his country. After the events of 1973, Tigre disappears, along with his companions. Thirty years later, Tigre is throwing fights to guys that he could wipe the floor with for fifty dollars a night. One night, a woman knocks on his door, and presents Tigre with the opportunity to redeem himself, to thwart a plot so despicable that it cuts at the very flesh and soul of our fearless hero.

Soule writes a very deep, compelling story. One that combines elements of Mexican heritage and wrestling, placed in a noir type of setting. Tigre himself, is an unstoppable machine; he feels like a combination of Marv from Sin City, while having a code like Batman, only one that he is willing, at times, to take too far. He may not use guns, but that doesn't mean he won't visit death upon his enemies. His sense of justice and of wanting to do the right thing paints him as the great Mexican hero that time forgot. Soule does a great job of writing the dialogue to fit just such a character. It may feel flat at times, but speaks to the translation aspect of the story. Ponder it a while and you'll realize just how genius and well researched it is.
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Format: Paperback
Strongman is an unknown classic by Charles Soule. In black-and-white, it tells the story of Tigre, a 65-year-old luchador from the 1970s who is lured into one last adventure in 2008 New York. A genre-breaking and genre-defining effort, Strongman blends humor, mystery, and adventure. Sure, it's a great story of a luchador movie star who solves crime on the side, but it asks some cool questions. Who is behind the organ-harvesting ring? Who is Maria? Why did Tigre stop fighting crime in the first place? All these questions are answered in a marvelous wrap-up.

I almost wanted to cheer out loud when Tigre got his motorcycle out of the garage, and I laughed out loud more than once. I mean, I'm glad that Charles Soule has gone on to bigger and better things in the past seven years. He's worked for Marvel and DC, becoming the voice behind some of comics' greatest superheroes. This is where you can see Soule in his formative yet already-fantastic years. There is a lot of dialogue for such a short book, and the pages are too small, but the lettering and artwork are more than up to the task. Very highly recommended. ****3/4
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Format: Paperback
Tigre is an old, burned out Luchador wrestler who was once the toast of Mexican wrestling and starred in numerous Luchador films back in the 60s and 70s – kinda like blaxpoitation flicks but with Luchadores. Now he’s throwing seedy wrestling matches for fifty bucks a pop. That is until he’s approached by a woman who bears a striking resemblance to his dead lover from decades past, and she has a mission for him: stop the organ traffickers that’re destroying the poorer neighbourhoods of the city. But, with the crime reaching far beyond the slums to the corridors of political power, will this be Tigre’s last fight?

Debuts are tricky things, especially in comics. Read the debut comics of some of the biggest names writing today – Warren Ellis, Brian Bendis, Garth Ennis, to name a few (coincidentally all surnames ending in “is”) - and you’ll end up reading some pretty crap books with no indication of the quality these guys would achieve years down the line. Charles Soule, though? Strongman is his first published comic and it’s so polished and good, you’d think he’d been in comics for years!

The only other non-superhero book of Soule’s I’ve read is Letter 44, but right away you can tell Strongman is worlds apart from that title. With its storyline of a Luchador wrestler hunting down organ traffickers with his bare hands and saving the city from corrupt politicians, Strongman is a vigilante story that has the gloriously corny aspects of the pulp vigilante stories from the 70s. It reads like a cross between Robert Rodriguez’s Machete and Frank Miller’s The Hard Goodbye.
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Format: Paperback
Charles Soule designs a world of quirky Luchadores battling against forces of mysterious power while upholding codes of honor more powerful than that of most superheroes today. The lines between the Hero Tigre's adventures and movies become very blurred but it works. It's a great Phoenix story where one Luchadore pulls himself out of his downward spiral and retirement to write a wrong from his past and stop the greatest villain and mistake he has ever faced!
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