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Bloodstrike: Brutalists by Michel Fiffe

May 13, 2019

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.

Comic book panel of man expressing horror avatar


Jeremy Estes has worked for Nashville Public Library since 2008. He loves comic books and dislikes the term “graphic novels”. He hosts Panel Discussion, a comics book club for adults, on the first Wednesday of the month at 12pm at the Main Library.