Publisher: Image Comics
Writer/Artist: Kyle Starks
Colourist: Chris Schweizer
Release Date: 5th July 2017
“Tighten your buttholes, boys. Here comes an ass whuppin.”
If Marvel’s Netflix-exclusive TV shows have proved nothing else, it’s that people love them a good hallway fight scene. And in the latest issue of Image’s Rock Candy Mountain, series creator Kyle Starks gives those people exactly what they want as Jackson finds himself incarcerated and forced to fight off pretty much the entire prison in order to stay alive.
It’s a fun diversion, although it’s probably worth mentioning that doesn’t necessarily feel like we’re advancing the story in any noticeable way, which is a bit of a snag when you’re dealing with the conclusion of an arc. Starks pushes things forwards gradually, but there are way more questions coming out of this issue than there are going in, and there’s still no real sense of us – or Jackson – getting any closer to that doggone mountain.
As I mentioned though, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun, with the tensions between Jackson and “Slim” continuing to build, and the introduction of a wonderful new face in one-armed rock-breaker “Big Sis”. The humour is a little more subdued than in some of the preceding issues for the most part, but the action element is pushed right to the foreground here, with truly impressive effect.
Visually the series is still an absolute treat, with colourist Chris Schweizer weaving some magic with the different setting and lighting choices – particularly during the aforementioned “hallway” sequence, which is amazingly lit (in both senses of the word, I guess).
As always, Starks’ artwork is beautiful in its deceptive simplicity, possessing a real sense of humour and a gift for kinetic action that really helps to make this issue flow as smoothly as it does. The character designs are great, “Big Sis” in particular, and the whole book has a great, fun vibe that keeps the pages (all 32 of them, for just $3.99!) turning.
A slight lull then, hallway fight aside, but only because Starks has set the bar so incredibly high to this point. As a single issue there’s a hell of a lot to like here, but as the conclusion to the first arc of what has been a stellar series, it does fall a little short. Still comes highly recommended, though.
If you want to find out more about Rock Candy Mountain, make sure to check out our interview with creator Kyle Starks by CLICKING HERE.
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