Saturday, 18 October 2014

Foolkiller MAX: Fool's Paradise Review (Gregg Hurwitz, Lan Medina)

The Foolkiller kills fools. With a walking stick. 

THIS got published? The whole character sounded like a joke or parody of The Punisher and I thought it’d be a laugh riot, so it’s disappointing that it’s not and it wasn’t (ok, I chuckled a couple times at the absurdity of some of the scenes!). 

Foolkiller is a former exec who made millions before making a series of unlikely choices that kills his ma. His dad dies in an even more unlikely situation which he too feels responsible for. This leads to him becoming a vigilante who kills fools with a walking stick/sword, and having a big black dog as a sidekick.

THIS got published?! 

The story here is of a corrupt gambling website that collects heavily on its debts while rigging the odds. One of their collectors fails to pay up so they go after his family, killing them all except for his daughter in hospital with heart problems.

Because of how bizarre all of that sounds, it should’ve been a way more fun read than it was. This is usually a criticism of DC’s books but this Marvel comic was too dark and gritty, even for a MAX title. It took itself too seriously for what it is and it became boring with its unrelenting grimness. 

There's lots of blood and gore if you look for that sort of thing, and the bad guys are all super-evil so you don't feel anything for them when Foolkiller tortures, then executes them. It’s a belated kind of heroism though; even though it tries to replicate the same approach Garth Ennis perfected in his Punisher MAX series, you don’t like Foolkiller like you do the Punisher. 

That’s mostly because the Foolkiller is kind of dull as a hero, hacking and slashing his way through the baddies with his stick/sword and dog in a repetitious tedium. There are only so many times you can see before you completely lose interest. Frank Castle he ain’t! 

Clearly Gregg Hurwitz didn’t want Foolkiller to appear as a joke (even though it’s hard to view him any other way!) but still, easing off of the seriousness just a little bit could’ve made all the difference for the character and the book as a whole. 

This was my first Foolkiller book (yup, there are more!) but, having not enjoyed this one, I don’t think I’ll be seeking out any more - I’d be a fool if I did!

Foolkiller MAX: Fool's Paradise

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