cover image Showman Killer: Heartless Hero

Showman Killer: Heartless Hero

Alejandro Jodorowsky and Nicolas Fructus. Titan, $15.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-78276-139-6

This is the first of three volumes of a violent, surreal space fantasy by filmmaker (El Topo) and comics visionary Jodorowsky. The saga of a super-assassin Showman Killer, bred from birth to care for nothing except payment, kicks off with a fast-moving gladiator battle whose action rivals a James Bond pre-credits sequence. Bizarre and nightmarish creatures throughout the galaxy populate the pages, and Showman Killer rips through them with tongue-in-cheek ultraviolence and sex (this is definitely not for kids). The painted art by veteran animator and illustrator Fructus depicts expressive and detailed characters, with subtle grays and earth tones punctuated by the occasional splash of violent, angry bright red, and a vibrant visual energy that balances illumination and shade to draw focus across each panel. The soft, organic edges of his characters and technology increase the dreamlike, hallucinatory quality of the script, and a last-act moment of personal evolution for Showman Killer hints at important future developments. (Dec.)