20 Fists #1 Review
League. As they begin to make a name for themselves the worst possible thing happens: their leader Chel falls for Billie, the leader of their rival crew The Big Jackets. Now, with their crews about to meet up for another battle, Chel and Billie need to decide… to make love or war?
20 Fists #1 is published by Source Point Press, and is available from April 28, 2021.
20 Fists #1 Story
20 Fists #1 is a quiet story, that also happens to involve some fist fighting. I throw around the term ‘quiet story’ a bit but 20 Fists perhaps encapsulates it best. 20 Fists lets you sit in the moment, to just take in the scenery and see the characters existing. It makes things feel more intimate and real because the characters aren’t being overwhelmed by spectacle or dialogue. It doesn’t take much to get a general feel for the characters and their relationships with each other and the story is tighter for it.
The latter half of the story does involve a lot more dialogue than the first, yet the focus is still on letting the characters just exist within the scenes. They feel real because they aren’t about having any big moments or snappy lines, they simply exist and interact with each other. Exposition is given sparingly so the reader knows enough to follow along without it ever feeling close to a dump. The story feels tight even when it does sit in a moment because it gives you exactly what you need.
20 Fists #1 Art
Because this is largely a quiet story that means that there’s a far stronger emphasis on the art and that art is quite capable of carrying the load. The characters are always well-framed within each panel and every panel gives the right tone and feel of the scene. The characters are full of little points of emotion in their faces and body language that tell you how they feel without exaggerating anything. I try to avoid comparing styles of artists or writers, but I can’t deny the fact that the art throughout gave me hints of Jamie McKelvie and it worked so well.
The colours by Contreras are beautiful throughout. There’s a real skill in how the characters always pop within the panel without the focus on them appearing unnatural. I particularly love the wash of reddish tones over the background in the first half, making both the environment and background characters feel like they blended together.
The lettering is strong, always playing into the quiet feel of the story as it never demands attention to itself or overshadows the characters at any point. The SFX are also on point and amongst the best I’ve seen in a little while, dynamic in a way that still doesn’t make them the sole focus of attention.
20 Fists #1 Conclusion
20 Fists #1 is not a story about the bombastic or absurd, it’s a story about characters and their messy relationships with each other. If all you want is people punching each other then you may be put off, but if you want people punching each other as well as dealing with their feelings for each other then this is perfect for you.
This is the kind of comic that at a glance I may not have given much thought to based on the title, but there’s a reason there’s a saying about books and covers. There’s so much depth within, a true character study of a story. If you love messy relationships then do not sleep on 20 Fists.
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