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Although their names aren't actually known - they're occasionally referred to as "Baldy" and the "Dwarf" - these two men have begun making names for themselves as mercenaries.
Killing monsters, killing the undead, and, well, simply killing whatever strange or unusual things they come across as they unburden defenseless townsfolk of their gold, these two barrel their way through any situation and, ultimately, come out on the other side.
In short, it's a tale about how much trouble a man and a dwarf can get into without actually dying.
Honestly, "hero" is a term I would only loosely apply to the two protagonists of Jim Zub's Skullkickers. They're rowdy, rambunctious, uncivilized, and violent - and, more often than not, cause more casualties than they prevent - but, regardless, the two mercenaries are sometimes accidental heroes, frequently accidental murderers, and preferably monster hunters.
To say the least, the semi-anonymous protagonists of Skullkickers are unusual characters. Unusual in a good way, I might point out.
I mean, for all their grievous faults, they're fairly entertaining individuals. Built up at the quintessential "dynamic duo" in heroic myth, these two actually defy all convention and make a mockery of it. Truth be told, it's both fascinating and hilarious how they manage to embrace literary stereotypes while simultaneously breaking them.
Besides his characters, Jim Zub also helps create an intricate world full of strange and grotesque creatures and unusual characters with interesting stories that will keep you hooked from page one. More to the point, however, Zub makes more than a few jabs at classic works of fantasy and he manages to turn the entire genre on its head while keeping true to its core ideals.
Between the "fantasy factoids" and the evolving narration styles and the wild adventures of "Baldy" and his dwarf companion, Zub manages to poke a little fun at just about everything. All in good fun, of course, but, if you're searching for a serious work of fiction or fantasy, I likely wouldn't recommend Skullkickers as a viable option.
It's violent. Very, very violent.
Skullkickers is filled with vampires, pirates, necromancers, fairies, sea monsters, and other murderous creatures - in fact, you name it, and the boys in Zub's comic have probably killed it and managed to make it funny in the process.
But the merits of this comic don't outweigh the fact that it's a bit on the mature side and certainly not suitable for an audience of all ages.
For more information on Skullkickers, check out www.skullkickers.com or click here to review some of Jim Zub's free online issues.