Papi Issues in the POUND FOR POUND Review
POUND FOR POUND Review
Writer: Natalie Chaidez
Artist: Andy Belanger
Colorist: Daniela Miwa
Letterer: Serge LaPointe
Cover Artist: Andy Belanger
Publisher: TKO Studios
I have to tell you that TKO Studios (TKOpresents.com) is your one-stop-shop for mature graphic novels! This is the 3rd series of TKO’s Wave 2 that I’ve read. I’ve found them all highly entertaining (although Sentient by Jeff Lemire is still my favorite. Hey he’s the greatest writer on the planet according to ComicCast Podcast fan poll) I have to say I was excited to read “Pound for Pound” see an artist I’ve been friends with online and had the honor of interviewing a couple of years back, Andy Belanger gave his unique gritty hardcore style with a hint of horror. A perfect choice for this story I must say his art and Natalie’s story meshed so well. This could easily become a kick-ass action movie on any streaming service.
This is centered around Dani. She’s a Latino MMA fighter just fighting backwater arena’s getting her pay from making the local gangster rich from the locals gambling on the outcome. However, trouble starts right away for Dani she sufferers from these would be blackouts that bring her to the “darkness” her own personal purgatory where she’s haunted by the El Monstruo the man who murdered her parents while traveling through the desert on a way to a better life. As soon as we meet Dani she’s in a match when her opponent rings her bell but good. Then from the head trauma, she blanks out into the darkness for a short period but when she gets up her rage takes over and she KO’s the woman she’s fighting instead of throwing the fight like she was supposed to. That is the catalyst that sends Dani and her little sisters’ world into a downward spiral.
Natalie Chaidez (Queen of the South) is the writer of this action-packed tale of two fists and a whole lot more. She wrote this to be jammed packed with action, drama, and a good amount of personal strife. This story (action movie genre) was nearly perfect. You see as you should know already there are 3 different ways to get Pound for Pound in a collectors box with six oversized issues, as a trade paperback, or digitally. I prefer single issues myself. Here’s the point to my rant my WTF moment came in issue #3 see the first two books or chapters were so action-packed it was like taking a forearm smash to the face. Issue three for some reason hit a brick wall for me almost like the series stalled. This could have been so the cast of characters, as well as readers, could catch their breath. Not to worry issue four starts to ramp it up in a big way plus the last two books will spin your head around like Linda Bliar in the Exorcist.
Andy Belanger (Southern Cross) was the artist for this tale of gruesome fisticuffs, bullets, and blood! I’m a long-time admirer of his work and was excited when I saw his name attached to this project. I thought since he’s a pro-wrestler on top of being an artist and comic book creator that he’d be ideally suited for a book with such a physicality to it. His dark gritty style with a sense of horror added to it an earthy real feel to this story that this called for and Andy delivered in and out of the ring. He did all the covers as well and had a helping hand on colors from Daniela Miwa who by the way kicked the look and feel up another notch if that’s even possible.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TKO is a perfect one-stop-shop for graphic novels. Every title is a complete story beginning to end. There’s something for everyone in three different formats each with its own price point. My favorite is the collector’s box with six individual issues for $29.99 or Trade Paperback for $19.99, both oversized to give fans a larger art scale, plus both formats are printed on archival paper. Now that that’s said and done, if you like any form of action movie then you’ll love this book. There was a major mind-blowing twist not mention some killer page layouts in the final issue is stupendous! Dani Libra is a total badass and I hope to see more of her at some future time. You can follow me right here at #OGNation for more of my writing, reviews, live streams, podcasts. Please Like, Comment, Share and as always