Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer: Jai Nitz
Artist: Wes St. Claire
Release Date: 27th September 2017
Okay, bear with me – Fu Jitsu, the star of brand new AfterShock Comic series, is a hundred-and-twenty-year-old boy genius with a mastery of sub-atomic Kung Fu who finds himself thrust into a battle to save the world from world’s tallest man Robert Wadlow when Wadlow sends James Dean to assassinate him.
The new series, from writer Jai Nitz and artist Wes St. Claire, is just the right amount of crazy, throwing some wildly absurd concepts into the mix over the course of this first issue. Nitz’s script has its tongue planted firmly in cheek for the most part, but never devolves into outright parody as we are introduced to Mr. Jitsu and his impressive abilities. We meet Fu as he resurfaces after three years spent in a sensory deprivation chamber, a self-imposed exile he entered into for two important reasons; to attempt to obtain spiritual enlightenment, and to forget about breaking up with his ex-girlfriend Rachel.
St. Claire’s artwork fits the story perfectly, with a slightly exaggerated approach and a knack for visual comedy that feels reminiscent of Geoff Shaw’s work on The Paybacks. The character designs are great, from Fu Jitsu himself to ‘big bad’ Wadlow and his gormless goons, to Kung Fu hitman James Dean (yes, that James Dean). The action scenes flow smoothly, with some wonderful onomatopoeia and a brilliantly visual representation of Jitsu’s aforementioned ‘sub-atomic Kung Fu’.
Obviously, given the ‘out there’ nature of the premise, this series isn’t necessarily going to appeal to everyone, but Nitz manages to blend comedy with established sci-fi and action tropes to deliver a genuinely intriguing opening chapter. It’s going to be interesting to see how the story develops, especially given the unusual hook. It can sometimes be easy for books like these to grab a reader’s attention with a vibrant first issue, before struggling to keep that attention once the initial novelty wears off, but given Nitz’s track record on the likes of Dream Thief, I’m confident that the series is in safe hands.
If you like your comics dark, gritty and realistic, you should probably give Fu Jitsu a wide berth. If on the other hand you’re willing to take a chance on a story packed with eccentricity and willfully unconventional ideas, then this new AfterShock Comics series is definitely well worth a look.
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