Review: Brawler #2 From Time Bomb Comics

I must confess that, for some reason, I didn’t back the first issue of Brawler when it was on Kickstarter – so when I saw that there was a 2nd issue (and I could pick up issue one as well) on Kickstarter I had to jump onboard.

Not only does Brawler have the best covers around it’s also unashamedly looked at the likes of Warrior magazine for how to be eye-catching – great cover image? tick; panels down the left hand side telling you what else is in this issue? tick.

What do you get for your money then? Well, lurking behind a great cover by David Millagte, Brawler is standard US comic book sized, perfect bound, 58 pages, full colour throughout on matt paper. So, that’s a pretty classy offering for £7.99 – I’ve certainly seen plenty of comics that ask for more than that and don’t deliver a product that looks so professionally produced.

I read Brawler #1 & #2 recently and I should be clear that #2 isn’t a continuation of issue #1. There are some stories that are common to both (Space banshee exorcist, Amnesia agents, Major Rakhana and Keiko Panda for instance) but other stories appear in just one issue. That’s fine by me, it’s an anthology series so I’m not expecting ongoing stories and it’s interesting to see different stories in the same universe each time. For instance, Major Rakhana, for instance, sees the British Empire having expanded beyond Queen Victoria’s (surely!) wildest dreams, whereas Amnesia Agents is set in the present day. For me, I love the amount of swordplay in Wolfheart and the bonkers concepts in Major Rakhana.

I’m also wondering whether Brawler will be able to act as a launchpad for some of these titles into their own comics – in some sort of Brawlerverse? It’s certainly a great way of introducing new characters to readers without taking the risk of publishing a whole comic based on am unknown character / concept.

All 8 (!) stories are indeed the ‘strange tales and amazing stories’ promised on the front cover. Plus there’s a text piece at the back AND a tribute to Nigel Dobbyn – whose untimely death meant that his work, which should have graced this (and many future issues) of Brawler, won’t now be seen.  

“Demons, monsters, samurai, warriors, pandas and a whole lot more” it says on the front cover and it certainly delivers all that and more – hardly a story goes by without a sword being unsheathed or a villain righteously vanquished. For me Time Bomb comics is a mark of a high quality product and it’s great to see so that Steve Tanner has gathered together so many different creators together to provide work for Brawler – long may it continue.

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Creators involved in Brawler #2 are as follows:

  • Ferg Handley
  • Steve Tanner
  • Gary Crutchley
  • Katie Cunningham
  • Jason Cobley
  • John Short
  • Jorgen Karisson
  • CL Raven
  • James Devlin
  • Pete L Woods
  • Matt Soffe
  • Danielle Weber
  • James Gray
  • Gabrielle Noble
  • Hakan Aydin
  • Ichsan Ansori
  • Bolt-01
  • David Millgate

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