Issue 5 is almost all one dynamic battle. It’s expertly paced and Nil Vendrell’s art does a wonderful job of giving the feeling of force and momentum. Motion lines are used to great effect and the work is simple but effective. The final showdown is as great as you want it to be. The early scenes have the humorous dialogue you would expect, but I imagine the majority of Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner’s work went into laying out the main fight scene. This is the final issue of this mini-series. Loose ends are wrapped up nicely, but the open-ended nature of the character and the overwhelmingly positive response of the series means that I’m sure that this isn’t the last we see of Shirtless.
Overall, this series has been an absolute delight. I love how it basks in its absurdity. I came across this series primarily from its excellent word of mouth and I haven’t been let down. If you are having a hard day and need a break from it all, Shirtless is a great escape. Shirtless as a series comes across as an amalgam of direct to video martial arts VHS movies and the World Wrestling Federation of the 1980’s. This series is a throwback to that type of storytelling. The “bad” guys are completely evil but so charismatic and cartoony that you don’t truly hate them and the “good” guy wins using his fists.
If you are looking for a book to make you question your life or a reflection of the world around you, this isn’t it. This is a book that is sheer fun and joy. I could nitpick things about the issue, but it handles its premise and executes on what it sets out so well that it is hard to capture negatives when the book keeps you smiling. I can’t recommend this issue and series enough. 5 out of 5 stars! Go out and get it!
Written by Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner
Art by Nil Vendrell
Published by Image Comics