By Abdulkareem Baba Aminu
From the get-go, I was tempted to place the Blaze Brothers comic book on a shelf with all kinds of pop culture mainstays like buddy movies, revenge thrillers or even some Korean films. As I went on, I realised that’s where the book’s strengths lie. The premise, where the titular brothers are set-up for a crime they didn’t commit, twists further as they pile up more bodies than they were accused of in the first place.
The comic opens at a church where they’re both confessing – or trying to confess – to a priest. While their softer sides peer out while confessing, the reader is reminded when one brother begins to quote Jay-Z that this is a hard-as-nails, crazy (but fun) romp of a story.
The writing is loaded with gems. One of them: “I’m not asking for forgiveness for the people I’ve killed. I’m asking for forgiveness for those I’m about to kill.” And after that line, both brothers bounce out of the church, with Marat Mychael’s attitude-laden art conveying their swagger ably.
However, the best way to read and enjoy Blaze Brothers is to understand that it’s an unapologetic, blood-soaked gangsta tale with over-the-top visuals depicting situations reminiscent of publisher IDW’s first Scarface comicbook series which boasted a number of ridiculous death scenes per issue.
With all the blood, gore and adrenaline, it’d be easy to miss the messed-up relationship between Jack and Billy Blaze, which is pure fun. For instance, an argument over smoking a cigarette in a car sees them drawing guns at each other. Even though the ending was not quite a cliff-hanger, by the time I reached it, I was dying to see what the two whack-jobs would be up to next issue.
Blaze Brothers #1
Writer: Vernon Whitlock III & Matthew Scott Krentz
Artist: Marat Mychaels
Abdulkareem Baba Aminu is a Bleeding Cool contributor, newspaper editor, award-winning journalist, cartoonist, comic book creator and painter. The Nigeria-based writer has reviewed comics, novels, movies and music for a variety of platforms. He is currently the Editor of the Saturday edition of the Daily Trust, one of the most influential newspapers in his country. You can follow him on Twitter @KareemReal
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