Writer and Artist: Laurent Minassian
Thanks to Laurent Minassian for the review copy!
Laurent Minassian’s MAXIMO RAW is a throwback action story that needs to be read in hard copy to appreciate. The story is a throwback to the kind of 1970s martial arts revenge flicks that KILL BILL paid homage to. The story starts with the tragic fate of Maximo’s parents. When he comes back from military service to learn their fate, he sets his sights on revenge. From then on out, it is one epic boss style match up after another, interspersed with battles against huge groups of opponents, as he nears the climactic battle with the ‘big bad.’
The respective mini-bosses (my phrase, not the book’s) Maximo faces have unique designs and weapons, making the battles stand out from each other. Each encounter brings a new twist to the fighting as Maximo has to solve a new set of problems. To the extent it can be gleaned from trash talking with fighting, the mini-bosses also have individual personalities.
As a throwback, MAXIMO RAW maintains a consistent retro vibe. The characters’ wardrobes, hairstyles and dialogue feel like an old 70s action movie (Some of the attitudes and language expressed by the characters fits in the time period as well, so some readers may be offended at times. This book earns its ‘Raw’ title). The art, which is in black and white, features dramatic action sequences that splash across pages. The choice to go with a black and white book is a good decision as it fits well with the rest of the book. This is definitely a book that needs to be read in oversized paper form as opposed to a digital copy. The depiction of action is kinetic, with speed effects to show movement and plenty of emphasis lines that give this book real vibrancy. Once the fighting starts, it basically doesn’t stop, and this is where the title also lives up to its name. The art holds nothing back, showing plenty of blood, dismemberment, and death. This book has an exceptionally high bullet and body count (I didn’t count, but the promotional material boasts over 150).
Based on the language and violence, this is definitely a title for mature readers. If the idea of a non-stop revenge fight akin to progressive levels in a martial arts video game appeals to you, there’s a great chance you will enjoy MAXIMO RAW. As I mentioned above, it is similar to KILL BILL in the source material it is referencing. Fans of those types of movies will find a lot to like about this title.
Maximo Raw will be available in three volumes via Kickstarter soon.
Are you going to pledge on their Kickstarter? Let me know on Twitter or leave a comment below!