• Fistful Of Blood (Trade Paperback)

    Fistful Of Blood (Trade Paperback)
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: April 13th, 2016.
    Written by: Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley
    Illustrated by: Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley
    Purchase From Amazon

    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…

    We catch up with her in her room where she’s sprawled out across the bed clad in lingerie, because that’s what female gunslingers sleep in. She’s awoken from her slumber when a clawed and hissing creature, a vampire clad in a dark suit and wide brimmed hat, attacks her.

    She hops out of bed and defends herself, prompting the monster to note that she ‘likes the rough stuff.’ They fight and soon enough she goes for her guns. She pumps him full of lead, holes allowing the moonlight coming in from the window to beam through his torso and even the one she put though his forehead, but it doesn’t stop him. He makes his move, his tongue lashing over her cleavage and evidently none too pleasantly as he tells her she needs a bath. Eventually she jams him with a plugged in light socket and electrocutes him and throws his burning corpse out the window.

    Turns out she was being watched the whole time by Sean McDonald, a member of the vampire family warring with the Von Bismarks, the zombies. He offers her a job, knowing full well that the competition already made her an offer. But he intends to double it. As the sun is about to come up, Sean gives her until next sundown to think about it. The innkeeper tells her that before she arrived the warring factions agreed to ‘share’ whoever came into town (the Von Bismarks get the flesh, the McDonald family the blood).

    What neither she nor he realizes is that an RV containing a dim witted family of tourists obsessed with the old western show that used to use the town for location shooting have just turned the corner and are on their way in!

    That dim-witted family is lured into the tavern and tricked into remaining calm until the monsters reveal their true selves and chow down on the new arrivals. Our heroine interrupts with some help from her trusty side iron, but the tavern owner tells her she can’t do that. Doesn’t stop her from putting a bullet through the head of one of the town bloodsuckers, but she kicks him to the side and takes care of him as well. The mother and daughter are still left alive, and he grabs them up, puts them in a truck and gets them the Hell out of town while he still can and once they’re safely away, he walks back into his fine establishment to find the gunslinger doing shots with the McDonalds.

    But has she really taken the side of the vampires? The zombies don’t seem to think so, and the tavern owner just seems confused. She’s clearly up to something here, and honestly it doesn’t seem like it would take much to outsmart either one of the warring factions that have been wreaking havoc in the town for so many years now.

    The innkeeper has our heroine stashed away in a church because he doesn’t think that the heathen monsters will come inside. He’s sent his family off to safety but feels obligated to help her but when he heads outside to get them some food, both the vampires and the zombies that have been running the town for years make it clear that they’re none too happy with him. Thankfully for him, the cops show up before he’s killed – he covers for the monsters, tells him that the fire he saw was from some brush that he was burning.

    The cop splits, but then a gang of bikers arrives on the scene. Heavily armed bikers at that. They lay into the zombies but then the vampires arrive – chaos erupts and a lot of people are left dead. Things get very bloody, one of the biker’s girls is raped, and the monsters enjoy some ‘biker McNuggets.’ Then, just as the innkeeper is about to get his just deserts, there’s a huge explosion and out of the explosion she emerges, a veritable ‘angel of death’ armed to the teeth and suck of the vampires and the zombies alike.

    And then… all Hell broke loose! “FUMPITY BLAMM!”

    The ultraviolent conclusion to this ridiculously over the top series ends things pretty well, actually. This is one of those series that’s out to do nothing more than entertain you, it’s not deep and it’s not particularly cerebral but it is filled to the brim with guts, gore and a sexy heroine. There’s a lot of humor in here, not just in the situations but in the reactions that we get from the zombies and the vampires and the bikers as over the span of the issue they’re more or less laid to waste. And of course, there’s a big twist towards the end that at least hints at who this buxom gunslinger really is and why she wound up in this town in the first place

    The artwork, which is Simon Bisley’s material ‘remastered’ by Eastman and then colored by Tomi Varga, is just as gonzo as the storyline. Eyeballs pop out of skulls, bullets tear through flesh, limbs are severed from their torso’s and there is no shortage of super stylish carnage here. Again, realism is not a concern, nor does it need to be. All in all, a pretty fun read if you go into it with the right set of expectations and an eye for exploitation style storytelling.

    In the back pages of this TPB, we get some promotional art done to generate interest in a film version of the story as well as some conceptual art drawn up for the same reason alongside preliminary sketches by Eastman. All four ‘behind the scenes’ bits from the individual issues collected in this paperback are included here as well, so those who want Eastman’s input on how and why this series came to be can rest easy (it’s a good read). There are some different character designs in here as well as some basic storyboard pages and a cover gallery.