Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to be Kin #1 Review: Insane

One of the weirdest comic story ideas is a Shaolin monk turned cowboy who fights a bunch of monsters in a post-apocalyptic world. That would be “Shaolin Cowboy” by Geof Darrow. He has recently teamed up with artist Dave Stewart to create a new “Shaolin Cowboy” story called “Cruel to be Kin.”    

An iguana tells his son the story of how his life was violent the second he hatched. His dad tried to eat him until the Shaolin Cowboy saved him which made him want to become the Shaolin Cowboy’s disciple. What follows is the Shaolin Cowboy and the iguana constantly getting attacked in the desert. This story continues the absolutely absurd non-stop action of “Shaolin Cowboy.”

The story here makes little sense and the characters make even less sense. One character is a pterodactyl that talks like a cliched German (even saying “zee” instead of “the” and “ack du Lieber.”) On top of that, it’s a literal iguana telling the story. It’s a trip reading this comic, especially with the iguana spouting references to John Wayne. The artwork is as weird as the story. There’s a TON of detail in almost every panel.

There’s a ton to look at from the buildings and signs in the city where the story starts to all the graffiti on the rocks in the later part of the comic. While the character designs aren’t the greatest, it’s still a trip to see an overweight old man doing kung fu and an iguana using its tail to fire a pistol. If you’re looking for logic in any of this madness, look elsewhere. The first issue of “Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to be Kin” is an insane, non-sensical ride that, in a strange way, is a ton of fun.

The story is fun for all the strangest reasons and the detailed art only adds to fun madhouse.

About Rocco Sansone 841 Articles
Rocco Sansone is a “man of many interests.” These include anime/manga, video games, tabletop RPGs, YA literature, 19th century literature, the New York Rangers, and history. Among the things and places he would like to see before he dies are Japan, half of Europe, and the New York Rangers win another Stanley Cup.

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