Review – A Fistful of Pain #1 (ComixTribe)

Publisher: ComixTribe
Writer: Ryan K Lindsay
Artist: Louie Joyce
Colours: Thomas Mauer
Letterer: Tyler James
Currently funding on Kickstarter until 11th September 2022CLICK HERE

A hundred years ago, dragons were found under the frozen wastes of the ice caps. Choosing to embrace this find, dragons become part of the ecosystem, and a peace is brokered, and a council set in place to ensure that both sides are treated equally and to hand out devastating punishments for those that break the agreement both dragon and human alike. Xin and Sloane are two sisters from a family of “Herders”, dedicated to protecting and preserving the balance; but when Sloane breaks from the family to follow a life of crime, stealing and forever corrupting Gilgamesh, the family’s dragon, Xin must face her in an apocalyptic Kung fu battle to the death.

A Fistful Of Pain is not your typical ComixTribe title, which historically have leant more into horror/thriller and fantasy titles such as Sink, Happy Hill, Wailing Blade, and one of my all time personal favourites, And Then Emily Was Gone. I can say without fear of contradiction, that ComixTribe have yet to release a book that has been anything less than superb, and A Fistful Of Pain shows no signs of tarnishing that record.

There is an awful lot going on in this book; dragon mythology, gangsters, sibling rivalry, and all wrapped up in a John Wick level trail of bloodshed, broken bones, explosions, and destruction. A Fistful Of Pain is a glorious riot of violence, but it also has a really good story underneath that really, really deserves more than the 50 pages we get. This is a self-contained story, and we get a more than satisfying ending, but A Fistful Of Pain would make a fantastic ongoing series, and there is so much story still to be told.

Visually, Louie Joyce gives us something akin to Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge’s Deadly Class, by way of Eldo Yoshimizu’s Ryuko, with some very interesting design work and panel layout that effortlessly shifts from Cyclopean double-page spreads to fast paced, hugely compressed sections with anywhere up to 30 panels packed into one page,

If you do plan on backing the Kickstarter for this title (and I strongly urge you to do so), then I highly recommend that you go for one of the physical copy tiers. Apart from the fact that I’m a firm believer that comics should always be read in a physical format to get the best out of them, in this case, it’s an absolute must if you really want to appreciate those glorious double spread pages (there’s just some things digital can’t do).

If you’re a fan of dragons, Kung Fu, Japanese gangster comics, or are a regular ComixTribe reader then you need to add this to your shelves.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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