Shirtless Bear-Fighter #3 Review

Writer: Jody Leheup & Sebastian Girner
Artist: Nil Vendrell
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Publisher: Image Comics

A Review by Greg Brothers

A couple of months ago, I heard about this comic coming out called Shirtless Bear-Fighter. I thought that the idea of the book sounded just ridiculous enough that it should be a fun read. I was pleasantly right about the first two issues as we found out about Shirtless, his family, and his allies. The concept was just as ridiculous as I expected, but thankfully the story so far has been just as good.

Shirtless Bear-Fighter #3 starts with a flashback as we see Suzanne as a child getting in a bit of trouble. After the brief flashback, we jump forward to Shirtless as he is captured within the enemies’ headquarters.

Thankfully, like any classic villain, Jaxson Logger lays out his master plan for Shirtless before heading off. That leaves Shirtless the chance for rescue. There are a few other twists and turns in the story as we head into the home stretch of the limited series, but it’s better if you find those on your own.

The ridiculousness and over-the-top cheese continues in Shirtless Bear-Fighter #3, but here we really get more about both Suzanne and Shirtless’ backgrounds. Finding out more about Shirtless’ family adds some needed depth to the character. It also helps to explain some of the choices that he has made.

The explanation of the villainous plan also adds depth to the story overall. We switch from the basic story of a muscular guy who is trying to save the world from savage mind-controlled bears, to a muscular guy who is trying to save the earth from an evil corporation. It’s that plan that really adds a depth of emotion that I do not think most readers of this series will be expecting when they get to it.

The art here continues to be top notch. The bear designs, fight scenes, and action all work seamlessly with the dialogue. In several panels, art is used in place of dialogue and it does an amazing job. The panels where we find out the fate of Shirtless’ girlfriend are particularly emotional. The art shows readers the story rather than telling it. It portrays the thoughts and feelings that are necessary to add depth to the story.

Verdict: Buy!

When I started reading Shirtless Bear-Fighter, I assumed it was a series where I could turn off my mind and just enjoy the over-the-top, fun story. Instead, Shirtless Bear-Fighter #3 pushes the story even further in the direction of an emotional story about family, lost love, and fighting for what you believe in. If you are not already reading this story, you need to be, as you will find yourself surprised as to how emotional and poignant a story about a Shirtless Bear-Fighter is.

Gregory Brothers
greghbrothers@gmail.com
Greg is a teacher, a life long student of all things pop culture, and an avid sports fan. When not spending time with spending time with family you may find him arguing the finer points of if Magneto was right, or who the best pro athlete is. He can be found on twitter @comicsportsgeek

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