Skullkickers #18 – Son of Tavern TalesReview Short Version: Skullkickers 18 is an anthology issue of the series before the story picks back up next month. It has six short stories, and is certainly more hits than misses. It’s a fun read, although – as mentioned – it does not bear on the plot proper. Still, it’s fun to see what other creators do with the Skullkickers and how each story takes a microcosm of what makes the series great, from the goofy to the violent.
Skullkickers 18 Writers: John Layman, Blair Butler, J. Torres, Charles Soule, Justin Jordan, Aubrey Sitterson
Skullkickers 18 Artist: Rob Guillory, Enrique Rivera, Alberto J. Alburquerque, Michael Mayne, Tradd Moore, Ivan Anaya
If you just looked at the list of writers and artists who participated in Skullkickers 18, you probably said to yourself ‘Huh, there’s no Jim Zub on that list.” Well, you’re right, since Skullkickers 18 is an interlude before the fourth arc of the off-the-wall fantasy series continues next month, but that doesn’t mean you should take a pass on this. The writers and artists who take their shots in Skullkickers 18 do a very nice job with hitting the tone of Skullkickers, which can vary from the grim and violent to the sublime. And believe me, you get some on each side and some in the middle. Skullkickers 18 is made up of six short stories that vary wildly in the scope and tones of the stories. It’s really a great read, and it’s always interesting to me to see how different writers and artists will handle characters that they don’t usually get to work with. My favorites from the issue incldue the Justin Cordan/Tradd Moore Weekend at Burnie’s about a weakling that the Skullkickers have to help slay a dragon, Blair Butler and Enrique Rivera’s dialogueless story about the troubles of getting a bag of holding, and Aubrey Sitterson and Ivan Anaya’s story about guild bureaucracy in the Skullkickers world. While those are highlights, all of the stories are entertaining. If you enjoy Skullkickers regularly, you’ll find a lot to like in this issue. Even if you don’t read it, there are plenty of entertaining stories that will make for a fun read. Skullkickers 18 may not tell us what happens next after the ending of last months issues (which I would really like to see), but it is certainly worth a pick up.
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