36 pages of brutalizing violence in some apocalyptic wilderness, written by Martin Conaghan, with art by Alex Ronald, David Braysher and Mike Perkins, colours by Gat Melvin, and a cover (as you can plainly see) by Frank Quitely. This was all originally published by Caliber in the 90s. However, Conaghan has completely reworked it, rewriting all the dialogue, and re-lettering it himself.
So, we’re on definite Mad Max ground here, with a liberal dash of The Man With No Name thrown in for good measure. That gent on the cover is “the Gunman” – a mysterious stranger, short on words, but so fast with a gun, who starts the story stumbling onto a vicious attack on a party of settler types. The gang ends up dead, and the lone survivor takes this mystery man back to his town; West Cove.
The problem for West Cove is that the villains so swiftly dispatched by their saviour are part of the gang terrorising the local area; The Brutalizers, and they sure don’t forget and forgive this sort of transgression. Worse still, the Gunman has little interest in playing town saviour and is on his way out of town as soon as he can.
Thing is, there’s a twist, as one of the old-timers of the town may hold the key to the secrets not even the Gunman knows about himself.where one old timer may hold the secret to the identity of the Gunman. Which, to my reckoning, makes this Mad Max, via Sergio Leone, plus bit of Bourne thrown in there as well.
I was going to review this more in depth before its release at Thought Bubble next weekend, but I’ve simply run out of time.
Suffice it to say the whole Mad Max meets Sergio Leone meets Bourne vibe covers it nicely.
Conaghan captures all the clichés of the genre, milks them for all they’re worth and produces something with enough of a spin to make it that little different. And artistically it’s just as well done. The pages below are by Alex Ronald, whose style just feels better fitted and just plain better for my eyes than David Brayshaw, who takes over shortly after these pages. But that’s not to say Brayshaw doesn’t do a good job, just not as impressive or atmospheric as Ronald.
The Brutalizers will be available at Thought Bubble this coming weekend, and after that from Conaghan at The Copydesk website.
Martin kindly agreed to let us share a little of it with you here, so relax and enjoy the first 5 pages of The Brutalizers: And it all opens with a vast open wilderness, and we’re drawn down to a devastated scene, the sole survivor of a scavenging party crawls away from the wreckage….. it’s the start of 36 pages of all-out action, and a good old fashioned tale done good old fashioned well….