Comics Review: "Knock Off Wars"
- by Señor Editor, 12 March 2017
If I had a time machine, I’d go back to the early ‘90s and kick myself in the balls before I could throw out the knock-off action figures I used to fill out Skeletor’s crew with. The popularity of bootleg toy collecting was something I never saw coming, but nowadays it’s a well-established hobby. If it has a body like He-Man and a head that could come from any well-known ‘80s or ‘90s franchise, chances are it’s a sought after collector’s item. And that’s great, but one thing that still separated the members of Turly Gang or Troll Fighters from their “legit” MOTU or TMNT brothers was the lack of a tie-in cartoon or… a comic. Until now.
The story will seem very basic to the casual reader, but I suspect knock-off aficionados will get quite a lot more out of it. There are many references sprinkled throughout and, while I did catch some of them (“Sungold Valley”, the various toy lines some of the characters could come from, etc.), I think there may be many more Easter eggs that hardcore fans will be happy to discover. But even if you don’t get the references, you still get a very entertaining story out of it.
Without spoiling too much, I gotta say Toywalker also comes up with quite an elegant way to incorporate the very idea of what these toys are into the story, but that's something you'll have to discover on your own.
Kowalczuk’s art style is the perfect fit for this story – if you’re familiar with his past works, you will know that he’s more than capable of drawing muscular weird creatures beating the living shit out of each other. He does it with flair, while making sure all the characters remain “on model” to their plastic equivalents. The fight scenes are also looking great, very dynamic and surprisingly gory - when the Knock Offs are fighting they make the Masters of the Universe battles look like child’s play.
The print run is limited to 200 copies, so get them while you still can!
...and if they run out of print copies, you can also pick up a digital version on the publisher's website, in the Underworld Muscle store. Check it out, and let us know what you think!