Bloodstrike: Brutalists by Michel Fiffe

Nostalgia is a valuable commodity. No generation is safe from it, but those of us on the cusp of middle age are particularly susceptible to it. Just ask the X-Men t-shirt in my closet.

On the surface, Michel Fiffe’s work trades heavily on nostalgia. Fiffe is perhaps best known for his self-published comic Copra, an action-packed riff on the 1980s Suicide Squad series by John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell (among others), but his work transcends fan service or simple nostalgia. Bloodstrike: Brutalists is no different. The original Bloodstrike series, about a paramilitary group whose dead members return from the grave via a process called Project Born Again, was one of the many bloody Rob Liefeld creations unleashed on the world after the launch of Image Comics in the early 1990s. Like a lot of comics from that era it’s...uneven. Fiffe’s interpretation digs into the original 1980s action movie tropes and refines them with an indie comics sensibility. The result is a book which retains the core of the original with few, if any, of its flaws.

Maybe it’s only a love letter to a beloved series from his youth, but Fiffe’s skills allow him to distill a marginal work into something fun and interesting. He’s taking that same approach to another property beloved by people of a certain age: GI Joe.

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