Review – Blaze Brothers Volume 1 TP (IDW Publishing)

BlazeBros-lo - CopyPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writers: Vernon Whitlock III, Matthew, Scott Krentz
Artists: Marat Mychaels, Dietrich Smith & Doug Sirois
Release Date: 15th October 2014

When your advertising announces – loudly and repeatedly – that your piece is “Wanted meets Kill Bill meets The Boondock Saints”, you’re setting the bar fairly high for yourself. Well, with the first two, at least – as far as average goes, The Boondock Saints took up residence there around about the time their sequel bore the subtitle ‘All Saints Day’. But that aside, I have to say that concept intrigued me, and I set about this collection of the first four issues with gusto.

In terms of artwork, the book is pretty solid – uninspiring character design is offset by a heavy dose of rather pleasing hyper-stylised violence, with the action cracking along at breakneck speed and only occasionally letting up for breath. The influences are clear as day – although honestly, I’d be more inclined to boil it done solely to Tarantino’s body of work, with the mentioned and much touted Kill Bill influence being swirled with a healthy dose of the Jules and Vincent arc from Pulp Fiction. Stylistically, it works, and whilst the detail is a little sketchy at times, it’s more than enough to get its point across.

But therein lies the rub: the story, the comic’s point, isn’t as fluid as you might hope – it jumps between the present and flashback almost haphazardly, and relies on thudding cliché for its martial arts mythology. There’s also what appears to be an entirely unresolved arc involving the murder of a particular character that happens as a flash-forward in the first ‘chapter’, and is never addressed again. It just feels like a series of set pieces, twined together by a vague narrative that, for all the good it does, feels like it was tacked on after the fact. The dialogue makes up for this somewhat – there’re some eminently quotable lines – but otherwise, the narrative is a little bit of a mess.

Though this is based solely on the four issues presented herein, and it could well be that once it’s concluded – though a fair amount of research doesn’t seem to indicate when or even if that’ll happen – it’ll make a touch more sense. Until then, it’s difficult to difficult to truly recommend this book. Worth a look if you need a fix of over-the-top violence, but for now, it remains a little unsatisfying.

Rating: 2/5.

The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

2 Comments on Review – Blaze Brothers Volume 1 TP (IDW Publishing)

  1. Georgea Menears // October 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm // Reply

    I could not disagree more. I bought this book today after reading positive reviews from Fan Boy Comics and CBR. To be quite frank, I could not put it down. I finished it and was like damn that was really good! The book was definitely different, but in a breath of fresh air type of way. The art was really good and the dialogue was outstanding. I enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone 16 are over.

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