One shall stand… One shall fall. Will it be Brother Bear or Shirtless who walks away? Your Major Spoilers review of Shirtless Bear-Fighter #5 awaits!
SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER #5
Writer: Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner
Artist: Nil Vendrell
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Shirtless Bear-Fighter: “This is it! The heart-stopping conclusion to the greatest comic saga of our time. It’s Shirtless vs. Brother Bear in a bear-chested, bear-knuckled fight to the death! Being the angriest man alive has gotten Shirtless far, but can it take him all the way?”
The stage is set for the ultimate battle, and Shirtless and Brother Bear are gonna throw down. But first, there’s the matter of Jaxson Logger and his giant toilet robot…
…which has a working flush, and is immediately inactive once the pilot is flushed out. Then, things get vicious, with page after page of ursine combat, as Brother Bear overpowers his adoptive brother punch after punch. Only when Shirtless uses human tactics, refusing to fight and leading Brother into an ambush does it work, after which Logger attacks again…
…aaand fails again. The issue ends with a lovely coda and a hook for additional Shirtless Bear-Fighter adventures that I truly hope are on their way…
TONGUE IN CHEEK BUT DEADLY SERIOUS
With an array of Dad Jokes about bears, poopin’ in the woods and toilet paper magnates, this book is all about action and fun, and it excels at that. The art is clear, angular, bloody and direct, making the spectacle of a man/bear fight epic, page after page. Even the ridiculous moments of story are presented with a cinematic eye that is kind of brilliant, and I truly love the ending of this issue and the return of Silva with a new mission for Shirtless. Sometimes, you appreciate a story being endlessly complex and twisty, and sometimes you have to love a comic that’s entirely straightforward and high-velocity while still making for a satisfying read.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I HOPE THERE’S MORE COMIN’
The thing about Shirtless Bear-Fighter #5 (and, indeed, the series as a whole) is that it takes its premise and characters absolutely seriously, which makes for amusing clashes in tone and material that do the amazing title justice, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. If you wanna do me a favor, go ahead and pick up this issue and the inevitable collection. You’ll get a great chunk of comic book story and, with any luck, we can get more Shirtless Bear-Fighter; maybe even a holiday special!