Review – All Guts, No Glory #1 (Zenescope)

Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Writer: Ralph Tedesco
Artwork: Guillermo Fajardo
Colours: Walter Pereyra
Lettering: Taylor Esposito
Release Date: 26th January 2021

On sale today from Zenescope Entertainment, ‘All Guts, No Glory’ takes a look into the dangerous and secretive world of highly-trained military monster hunters… and, uh, the guys who clean up after them.

This first issue introduces us to two such cleanup guys in the form of Craig and Jimmy, the latter of whom has some fairly ambitious dreams of one day becoming a monster hunter himself.  Both characters are given some solid introductions here, with the pair being routinely bullied and ridiculed by the intentionally generic, muscle-and-weapon-flexing monster hunters.  There’s more than a hint of Adam McKay’s ‘The Other Guys’ at play here, and while we never quite veer into all-out comedy, there’s a lighthearted likeability to our two leads, resulting in some cracking lines of dialogue from series writer Ralph Tedesco.

It’s an admittedly cool idea, shining a light on the janitorial staff who come along in the wake of large-scale zombie and vampire battles, although this oversized 36-page opening chapter perhaps take a little too long before delivering the real meat of its premise.  That said, the characters who we’re meant to like are nice enough, the ones we’re meant to dislike are obvious assholes, and the backstories of the ones we need to know about are delivered confidently throughout.

On the visual side of things, Guillermo Fajardo and Walter Pereya – two artists I’ll admit to having very little prior knowledge of – combine to create some chunky and dynamic pages packed with expressive characters and faintly cartoony violence, both of which work well to establish to the tone of the series. The action is intentionally over the top, and there’s a slightly caricaturized look to some of the characters that helps the storyline beats land solidly.  Pereya does a great job with the colours, emphasising the aforementioned ‘chunky’ feel and doing well to make sure there isn’t much in the way of dead space on any given page.  Rounding out the visual package is Taylor Esposito, who puts in a typically solid shift with the lettering, keeping things flowing smoothly and naturally throughout, particularly during the more dialogue-heavy pages.

The final pages throw a wrench into the proceedings, giving the story its real hook in the form of recently-turned vampire Sara, who Craig and Jimmy discover during their latest clean-up job.  Its during these scenes that the creative team really shines, fully showcasing the potential of the series as our two cleaners find themselves at odds with the asshole monster hunters and hurled headlong into what promises to be an extremely dicey situation in the issues to come.

All in all, while it perhaps takes a little while to find its feet, All Guts, No Glory ultimately delivers a creative, enjoyable twist on the ‘monster hunter’ trope, all wrapped up in a pleasing visual package.  Definitely one to keep an eye on as the story unfolds.

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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