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Review: ‘Shaolin Cowboy’ # 2

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Geof Darrow’s ‘Shaolin Cowboy’ defies explanation. After the first issue I found myself joyously scratching my head as to where the narrative was heading in issue two. This month I have my answer, and it’s one of the boldest issues of a comic I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, I’m just not sure if it’s good for everyone.


WRITTEN BY: Geof Darrow
ART BY: Geof Darrow
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: November 13, 2013

I’m all for over the top action scenes. In fact I’ll be the first guy to pour over them meticulously and enjoy every bit of them after the dust has settled. But, I’ve never seen an issue of a comic entirely devoted to one smooth effort of execution.

This month Geof Darrow solidifies the insanity of ‘Shaolin Cowboy’ by giving an issue entirely centered around exactly that: one continuous action scene.

The titular cowboy finds himself lost in a sea of zombies. Surrounded on every side he does the only thing any of us would do, he picks up his long stick with chainsaws on either end and destroys everything around him.

Darrow’s incredibly detailed art makes this effort a total joy to look at. The cowboy starts to spin on page one, and by the end of the issue he’s still spinning within a circle of corpses. All the while though, we’re treated to an absolute symphony of death that communicates just how powerful the cowboy is.

The entire issue dizzies as you read it, because the motion never stops. Darrow finds new and exciting ways to cut bodies to pieces and the sheer insanity of the premise never lets up for a second. Every page is seemingly more detailed than the last and it’s almost impossible to fathom how Darrow planned this issue out.

Every single page save for the first consisted of two panels spread across two pages working as long horizontal splashes. It creates the feeling of being surrounded but also gives the insane chainsaw tool some room to move. Obviously the issue moves with nothing but the utmost pace, you have nothing standing in your way from blowing through this issue within about 30 seconds.

However, if you take your time and truly appreciate what every panel has to offer you’ll notice a intricately planned action scene with some of the best, most detailed art comics has to offer.

There’s not much more to say than that. Story is non-existent here. Pick this issue up and marvel at Darrow’s work, but don’t expect much more than a visual feast.

Rating: 3/5 Skulls.