Monkeybrain Monday Review: “Knuckleheads” #1


Monkeybrain comics don’t specialize in anything save for quality books. “Monkeybrain Monday” showcases the digital titles this small publisher has to offer. This week’s entry is on its way to print with IDW publishing. So we thought it time to give “Knuckleheads” a visit.

The slacker archetype is one we all know too well. It’s ripe with satire and makes for a compelling character turn. Except Brian Winkeler and Robert Wilson IV’s Trevor K Trevinski brings it to a whole new level. “Knuckleheads” #1 offers a brilliant blend of the slacker archetype with the superherodom and manages to create hearty laughs while balancing character development.

Knuckleheads-1WRITTEN BY: Brain Winkeler
ART BY: Robert Wilson IV
PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics
PRICE: $0.99

It’s fitting that a book about a slacker superhero doesn’t have any action in the first issue. Although that may seem difficult to find compelling, it isn’t. Brain Winkeler introduces his characters in a dramatic and overzealous fashion only to quickly reveal the drab reality.

The result is a funny and telling look at what it means to have superpowers. One would imagine that any modern day person would much rather use any powers they received in a self-serving manner to make their own lives easier. But Trevor doesn’t really use them at all. He would rather stay home and chill. I get it, eating pizza and playing Xbox all day every day is practically heaven for any twenty something.

Robert Wilson IV brings this “heaven” to life with an unsightly touch of reality. Trevor’s costume first appears to be a tightly crafted amalgamation of different materials. It slowly becomes clear that it’s unwashed leisurewear at best. His apartment and surrounding area comes to define him as an unwashed and lazy slob.

But, it’s really the details in this sloppiness that add so much charm to the book. It’s clear that a lot of time was taken to define this world. Wilson’s thick lines populate each panel and define the world in a fantastic way. Plus, once you reach these final pages, everything else just feels like a teaser for the grand show. The monster is magnificent.

I have a few issues with not developing the crystal fist or exactly what makes Trevor’s powers so ripe. I didn’t get a full picture of him in this first chapter, and although it did leave me feeling slightly unfulfilled it also gave me a number of questions heading into the second issue. Such is the double edged sword of periodic storytelling.

A ripe bromance, a repugnant use of power, and wonderfully paced character introduction are just some of the things “Knuckleheads” #1 offers a reader. It’s a smooth dissection of what makes superhero stories great and straddles the line between satire and coming of age. It’s a beautiful love letter to the superhero tradition of comic books without ever hitting too much of it on the nose. So the result is a refreshing take on old ideas that never ceases to entertain.

Don’t be a knucklehead and pick up the trade from IDW this June.

Official Score