Man, I love a good monster hunter story. It probably goes back to my early obsession with films like Army of Darkness and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but something about a hero that rises up and embraces their true power to wage a holy war against the powers of evil really gets my blood pumping.
And there are few tropes more interesting to me than the reluctant hero. As a frequent reader of silver and golden age comics, it always makes me laugh just a little bit when the hero, newly embowered with power, just up and decides to wage war against the forces of evil with little to no regard for their own safety or wellbeing.
This week’s book, The Lonesome Hunters, does a fantastic job of bringing both of these tropes together into one glorious, hilarious, heartbreaking, and terrifying package, so let’s check out the blurb and see what this book is all about!
Here’s the blurb:
THE LONESOME HUNTERS #1
A new fantasy series written and drawn by Tyler Crook!
From Russ Manning Award-winning and Eisner-nominated Harrow County cocreator Tyler Crook comes this supernatural fantasy about loss, power, and destiny.
An old and out-of-practice monster hunter in hiding crosses paths with a young girl that forces him to confront these chaotic creatures. As the beasts invade their tenement, they set off on a supernatural road trip to stop these ancient evils in a story that explores the ways that youth informs adulthood and how early traumas can haunt us in old age.
If you like a story about a noble hero waging a righteous war against evil, The Lonesome Hunters might not be the book for you. In this story, Howard, our protagonist, is a child trapped in his father’s holy war against evil. He has no desire to be part of this war, and in his very first encounter things go horribly wrong incredibly quickly.
It’s clear to everyone that Howard is not cut out for this life, but he has been cursed to be the wielder of a magic sword that not only has the power to fight off the monsters he faces, it also grants him near immortality, meaning he has a long, long time to regret his actions and suffer his terrible losses.
Despite the fact that he wants nothing to do with this world anymore, content to live out his days in relative obscurity and solitude, Howard is soon called back into action by his young neighbour, a girl named Lupe, who needs his help facing the forces of evil that he has spent so much time running away from and trying to forget.
I really, really liked this first issue of The Lonesome Hunters. Crook is a masterful storyteller who has already laid the groundwork for a new and fascinating mythology with this first issue. You can feel the fear, hatred, and sadness of the characters that inhabit this world, made all the more powerful by Crook himself doing the artwork and being able to fully express his vision of this world. The characters are broken, and they look broken. This isn’t a sexy book where ripped dudes and scantily clad women battle sexy monsters, this is a book about real people forced into impossible situations, and being forced to fight and live with the consequences of their actions. The characters look real, and the monsters look vile.
This is a real book, and get’s a very solid recommendation from me. Tell your LCS to pull you a copy of The Lonesome Hunters #1 this Wednesday, and let me know what you think!
Until next time, stay safe!