Review – The Legend of La Mariposa: The Demon Gauntlet GN
Written and Illustrated by: James Lawrence
Release Date: Currently funding on Kickstarter (CLICK HERE)
The Legend of La Mariposa: The Demon Gauntlet is a 200-page Lucha Libre fantasy adventure from cartoonist James Lawrence, and is currently funding on Kickstarter until the 14th of October 2019.
The story is based around rookie luchadora La Mariposa, who wants nothing more than to join the illustrious “Sons of Justice”. But before she can join the team she needs to prove her worth by taking on and defeating four demonic warriors and collecting their masks. As you do.
Originally released as a web-comic, this lively, humorous and heart-filled all-ages story boasts some striking, cartoony artwork and will likely appeal to fans of wrestling, fantasy or entertaining comics in general.
Each chapter focuses on La Mariposa taking on one of the four demons, each of whom has their own distinctive fighting style and location, from jungle temples to spider-web cage matches . Adding to the entertainment value is the mystical commentary team who follow LM around on her quest, giving some typically excessive wrestling commentary as she goes toe-to-toe with her opponents.
The story is a ton of fun, feeling like a blend of Saturday morning cartoons and classic questing video games, and the fact that La Mariposa is an immensely likeable and surprisingly capable protagonist only sweetens the deal. As with all great tales there’s a bit of a twist to the story, albeit one which is broadly hinted at along the way, resulting in a fairly satisfying payoff in the final pages.
There’s perhaps a slight lull in the middle, and some of the demons are definitely more interesting than others, but for the most part Lawrence manages to keep things moving forwards at a fairly brisk pace throughout, with the strength, humour and charm of his leading lady doing the bulk of the heavy lifting in terms of keeping the pages turning.
What really sets the book apart though is the impressively polished artwork, and Lawrence’s colourful, dynamic illustrations pack each of the 200 pages with energy and humour. It also definitely feels like Lawrence is something of a grappling fan himself, and the over-the-top recreation of familiar wrestling moves is likely to delight readers. Seriously, if you’ve never experienced the joy of watching a cheetah getting Diamond Cutter’ed, this is the book for you.
Fun, upbeat and visually impressive, The Legend of La Mariposa is a love letter to the colourful, over-the-top world of wrestling and the episodic excitement of Saturday morning cartoons, and is likely to appeal to young and old readers alike. Well worth a look.
The Legend of La Mariposa: The Demon Gauntlet is currently available on Kickstarter until the 14th of October (CLICK HERE).
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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