By Kevin Hoskinson
Image Comics turns politics on its head in the first issue of “On The Stump,” and if real-life political battles were this exciting, more people would definitely get out and vote!
In this new series, political rivals go head to head in the ring. If you want to get legislation passed, you better beat your opponent, because the whole country is watching. These fights are brutal, and someone is trying to pass legislation that will allow murder in the ring. The violence is beginning to spread outside of the ring, as important people are going after the press for writing negative things about them. To prevent the madness from spreading, FBI Agent Anna Bell recruits Senator Jack Hammer, a former fight champion, to help her stop them.
Written by Chuck Brown (Bitter Root, Black Panther), On The Stump is a story that couldn’t be more timely. It is a violent and bloody satire on politics today. It takes the worst that our country has to offer and amplifies it to create a world that is both scary and ridiculous at the same time. With the circus going on in our Capital between the two sides, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this came to fruition. Brown understands the absurdity of everything happening right now while also respecting the seriousness of it. And on top of a story of politics gone crazy, he adds a more in-depth story. It’s a story about an aging Senator who used to stand for something and an FBI Agent who still believes in him. He does this all without anything outweighing the urgency of the other; it’s perfectly balanced.
While the story and premise are unique, that is not all this book has to offer. The writing is excellent, and the banter between characters is terrific. There is an air of mystery throughout the story, like anything can happen. And the artwork by Prenzy beautifully illustrates this dark and violent new world (I don’t want to ruin anything, but nobody can make an eyeball pop off the page like he does).
On The Stump #1 is a fantastic start to a new series. With interesting characters and danger at every turn, it’s gearing up to be an exhilarating ride. It’s one of my favorite new things, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Kevin Hoskinson is a writer with a deep-seeded love for movies, comic books, television and the paranormal. From humble beginnings working the box office at his local movie theater, he’s worked his way to becoming a humble family man and professional bug exterminator. Growing up, he wanted to become an astronaut, a Ghostbuster, a dinosaur, and a Disney animator before he found his passion for writing as a teen. He studied film at Los Angeles Valley College with an emphasis on screenwriting and film criticism. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two kids. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter @Kevin_Hoskinson, and Instagram @kevinhoskinson.