Skullkickers review: Kicking skulls and taking names

Wakka wakka! Hope you had an amazing April Fool’s, worthy warrior, as mine was – I spent my hours laying low watchful against the evil scourge that is the plague! Yessirs! With me at the watch no plague will get me down. And if you would ever want to join the honourable ranks of us medieval plague watchers (hic), what better thing to do than to know what a plague watcher would do to entertain himself? Thasssssright – read comics! And not just any comics: READ SKULLKICKERS.

That’s right, if you ever wonder “man, my life is so boring now. I wonder how I can just feel more badass, but in a medieval way, and be, like, funny too” – Skullkickers is your answer. If you’re ever in the mood for some medieval badassery with a penchant for getting drunk or just being utterly ridiculous? Skullkickers is the answer too! How about some badass… You see what I’m getting at here.

The synopsis: Skullkickers is a comic of two protagonists, known as shorty and baldy (because they don’t have names), who are a crazed dwarf and a gun-toting… taller man who are out to get fame and fortune for themselves. This could have ended up anything like those serious Game of Thrones types where there’s political intrigue or serious ne’er-do-wells hanging about, but in Skullkickers you’ll get none of that. What you do get is instead huge monsters kicking ass, and crazy characters just doing absolutely crazy things – all while kicking ass.

A skull being kicked.

You might know writer Jim Zubkavich if you used to read webcomics from way back in 2003 – he worked on the very amazing Makeshift Miracle. He’s back, this time, with the fantasy but not the coming-of-age seriousness. You can tell with the glee on the page that Jim Zub’s having the time of his life writing shorty and baldy into really ridiculous situations and seeing how they can kick skulls on the way out. If you’re wondering if any trope in fantasy is sacred – the answer is a big fat “no”. The artwork by Edwin Huang works very well with the story, with the exaggerated manga style more than fitting for the many hilarious moments in the comic.

You know when the Skullkickers series won my heart? Not right off the bat – at first it would seem not too much different from, say, the usual violent and funny Image series, but the moment the comic uses “Skull Kick” as a sound effect – and when it actually finally does – man, you rise from your seats, fists in the air, waving, shouting, HAVE AT THEE, before being quietly ushered off the MRT. If you’ve missed Battle Chasers, think of it as that but with a much crazier spine. And if you just like swords and sorcery in general, with a heavy dose of humour, you can’t go wrong here.

Still not sold? You can read the first few issues of Skullkickers for FREE here! If that doesn’t show Jim Zub is crazy with Skullkickers then… I’m not sure what will.

Skullkickers Treasure Trove Vol 1 will be released April 4 for US$34.99, and will contain 300 pages of skullkicking goodness including issues #1 to #11 and will be perfect for getting you up to speed. Skullkickers #13 will also return… April 4, and will feature an all new adventure!


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  1. I’ve been eyeing this for the longest time, always wondering if I should pick it up. I think I should.

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