Preview Review for the Week of 2/20/2020: On the Stump #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at Pop Culture Squad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we feature a new book from Image Comics. It is On the Stump #1 by Chuck Brown and Prenzy with Clayton Cowles. This book was featured in our New Number Ones column for February. You might want to see what else we are looking forward to there.

You can find On the Stump at your LCS on February 20, 2020.

On the Stump #1
Image Comics
Written by Chuck Brown
Art by Prenzy
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Prenzy

Original Solicitation

SERIES PREMIERE!  The campaign trail is paved with blood and broken bones. History diverged in 1868 when a pivotal presidential debate turned violent. Today, elections are decided by highly publicized hand-to-hand combat in arenas called Stumps. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t end in the ring, and powerful people can still get away with murder. Senator Jack Hammer and FBI Agent Anna Bell Lister are teaming up to bring it all down. Eisner-nominated writer CHUCK BROWN joins forces with Italian artist PRENZY and letterer CLAYTON COWLES to create a hyper-violent tale full of countless injustices-and people who have to fight for their place in it.

PCS Review:

Make sure you strap in when reading this one. Also you may want to look into getting some protective gear.  The solicit gives a general idea on the whacko über-violent world that this story takes place in. There is a lot of punching and hitting, but the bizarre, mind-spinning aspect of the book is that the violence is in settings that we, in our society, do not expect it to be. The characters that Chuck Brown establishes are intriguing, and the premise is definitely interesting. The world presented is a weird mashup of the workings of the American political culture, pro-wrestling, and full-contact combat sports. The ability for Brown to bring the reader into this world that makes sense to the participants is the work of impressive storytelling.

The art style that Prenzy uses is perfect. There are some truly excellent fight scenes, and the color work is really well done. There is an immersive feel to the book, and the panel layouts and some interesting camera angles bring the reader into this cracked mirror world. Clayton Cowles does excellent work on the lettering and adds some important auditory effects to the story.

In the current state of the world, this book has a very interesting place and provides both cathartic release and thought-provoking perspective. We are certainly looking forward to more.