Monday, November 30, 2015
Ringside #1 Review
Ringside #1 from Image Comics -
Daniel Knossos is an ex-Marine...And one of the best pro-wrestlers of all time. He was the top of the heap as the legendary Minotaur; now, he's a washed-up, jaded, aging ex-pro-wrestler who earns his bread by training young talent in Japan. He had a falling out with someone with a lot of power, and it effectively ended his career for good. It seems like Dan has settled with his fate, and has moved past the pain of his faded star; however, when he receives a call from an old friend in desperate need, he leaves Tokyo and returns to California to help his friend out of a life-or-death jam. When Dan is brutally beaten by five heavies seeking to keep him away from his friend, he decides to push back, Semper Fi, Do Or Die. They beat him down. They threatened his friends' lives. They've pissed him off.
Dan's bringing the fight to them, no-holds-barred...But is one tough-as-nails ex-Marine/ex-pro-wrestler enough to dig his friend out of the hole he's gotten himself into, or will they both end up six feet under?
Joe Keatinge writes this hard-edge, melancholy story about a hard-luck hero that is holding on to the only things he's got: his pride and his loyalty to his friends. Daniel Knossos is the strong, silent type - he's a wise, world-weary and straight-to-the-point type of guy. But underneath it all, he's got a soft side for the underdog; he's a bit of a gentle-giant with a big heart for those who mean a lot to him. I instantly liked Dan - I pitied him, and I admired his ability to deal with life as it is, not as it was or how he wants it to be. He has a tight circle of friends who care a lot for him, which made it easy to see that Dan was a good guy for all his gruff, curt and sulky ways. It seems that his friends just might be the only vulnerability he has - and if someone comes for them, it's on like Donkey Kong. The story chugs along at a slow quiet pace, fleshing out characters and populating Dan's world with an endearing, quirky supporting cast. Like Dan, Nick Barber's art is moody, straight-to-the point, no frills, spills or chills. Barber's art is purely a vehicle to tell Keatinge's story, which makes it basic, but brilliant. The story and art meld together perfectly as one to bring this heavy, burdened story to life in the pages of this comic book.
I'm really not sure what Ringside is just yet, but whatever it is supposed to be, there's no doubt in my mind that it will be a great read. I'm too curious and enthralled by this story to not pick up issue #2. Now that's just good writing.
RATING: 8.5 out 10. Ringside piledrives it's way onto my monthly pull list. 1, 2, 3 - it's a wrap.
Thanks for reading.