Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chuck Brown
Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 25th March 2020
So last month I was singing the praises of this new series from Chuck Brown. In awe of the action-packed visuals and not-so-subtle political messages, I was eager to go a second round. So, after a hefty beating, body blows and jabs a-plenty, was I as excited for round three? Most definitely. Not gonna lie though, On The Stump has taken a very unexpected turn and it’s with both anticipation and trepidation that I wait to see where this madness is heading.
Without repeating myself too much, the art and letters from Prenzy and Cowles are phenomenal. Lots of quirky details, and the team are allowed to let rip with some significantly larger than life characters. The style fits hand in glove with the story (or should that be fist in mitt?), and it’s hard to imagine how this could be tackled better in any way.
If you haven’t caught up yet, On The Stump is a set in a world where political leaders get their way by quite literally taking to the stump and settling the ‘debate’ in a bout of fisticuffs or over the top wrestling ala electrifying sports entertainment. With the background set, Brown layers in a traditional political thriller and detective whodunnit.
This issue takes that premise and decides to ramp up the weird by introducing an underground secret society at the very heart of America’s great institutions. I can already sense a few grumbly and irate tweets getting typed about this and I love it. If the first issue was thinly veiled jabs at the ‘system’, then this is the mob with placards highlighting its deficiencies. I might be reading too much into it, but everything from the old angry rich white guys as the evil corporate menace, to the Blacksmiths is just dripping with angry satire. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, you’ve got deadly enhanced mutants adding to the carnage. Did I even mention the Slay Act? Yeah, there’s a lot going on here!
If this had continued to play out as I foresaw from the debut, I have no doubt it would have been a pretty standout run. Maybe I didn’t see all the signposts, and these more ‘out-there’ elements will be taken in others’ stride. Regardless, it’s a super fun read which you need to be checking out. Time will tell whether it can maintain its stamina until either the knockout blow or the final bell.
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster