• Fistful Of Blood #1

    Fistful Of Blood #1
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: October 21st, 2015.
    Written by: Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley
    Illustrated by: Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley
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    Set ‘a long time ago in the not so distant future’ we head to a Podunk town in the middle of the desert where a gorgeous and insanely proportioned blonde woman clad in lingerie emerges out of the desert heat. The poor woman collapse in the middle of the main street as the male population of the town immediately notices, lecherous bastards that they are.

    They collectively agree to take her inside to ‘make sure she’s alright’ and then they proceed to lay her down on the table and unbuckle their belts. Things don’t look good for her, but she regains consciousness as the deed is being done and manages to grab one of her rapists’ six-shooter out of its holster. A few BLAM BLAM BLAM’s later and those guys are still standing…. albeit with massive holes in their chests and other body parts. A firefight breaks out and she smartens up and starts aiming for their heads. That does the trick.

    She saunters out of the saloon and down the street to the hotel where the aging innkeeper, fearing for his life, offers her shelter and clothing. As she gets ‘dressed’ the innkeeper tells her that the guys she just took out are the members of the Von Bismark Clan, and then he gives her the backstory of the town. They used to film a TV show here called Shanghai Sheriff and during those years, things were good. Things were even better when a big time western called Fistful Of Blood was shot on the town streets but once westerns fell out of style, the place tapered off. Years later a rich guy turned the place into a tourist attraction. The old man heads back to the bar for a drink, and then what’s left of the Von Bismark clan shows up. Seems they’re not done with her yet…

    The story here isn’t deep, but it is fun. A busty, mysterious heroine? Zombie gunslingers? A wisecracking old man with a bit of a wandering eye? A great western town setting? These are all good things. There’s enough of a plot here to keep things moving nicely and to see us wanting to come back for more next month. The spaghetti western influence is obvious but that’s not a bad thing at all and this mixes horror, action and humor in fairly equal doses to nice effect.

    As to the artwork, this is a ‘remastered’ version. See, the story originally ran in Heavy Metal fifteen years back and since then Eastman has reworked Bisley’s original pencils and had colorist Tomi Varga do his thing over top. It looks pretty damn good. Bisley and Eastman work together really well and Varga apparently understands their collective styles perfectly, because the colors here are fantastic. There’s plenty of crazy detail throughout the book evident in each panel of each page and a few really impressive full page pieces that are pretty damn impressive. Not surprisingly, everything is exaggerated here – from the gore and bloodshed to, especially, our heroine’s physique, but it suits the nature of the story well enough. This isn’t meant to be taken seriously, it’s just fun, over-the-top entertainment.

    Once the main contents of the issue have been properly digested, take time to read the Behind The Scenes Of A Fistful Of Blood text piece. Here Eastman talks about how this project started as a parody of A Fistful Of Dollars and how he brought Bisley onboard to help him out with the art and story. There’s some neat stuff in these back pages, including some of Eastman’s original character designs and original panel breakdowns.