Who doesn’t love an epic battle? A fight of wills, alpha dog versus alpha dog, where there is a battle between two individuals of equal skill. Literature and even history have a had a few of these epic battles. The one form history class, that has been brought up many times, through middle school and high school, was the fight for America’s soul during the Civil War, between General Robert E Lee and General Ulysses S Grant. As both are revered in history, one would become immortal in a certain part of the country despite the loss and the other one would go on to become President.
In comics, there is the epic battles between the Joker and Batman, as they antagonized each other more than anything before one took it too far in the Killing Joke. Then there is my favorite of all time, Spy Vs Spy, as one always tried to outdo each other and killing each other multiple times. Recently, I have been finding several comics from the 1960s, which are both pulp and sci-fi, the type of comics that Edgar Rice Burroughs became a celebrity because of. So, when I heard about the republishing of Guido Nolita’s (better known as Sergio Bonelli), and Gallieno Ferri’s Zagor Versus Supermike I could not wait to tear into the book and dive into these epic fights.
In the first few pages, we a bevy of excellent essays by different scholars/writers/creators, who expressed not only what these comics meant to them but to popular culture at large. In what seems to be one of the first meldings of the science fiction/western genres, other than the Wild Wild West, Nolita’s storytelling brilliantly shines, as he captures the sadistic nature of a villain like Supermike, who in one story, attempts to destroy an Indian village, while Ferri’s although of the time, is very individualistic and beautiful. Nolita also paints a complicated hero, in Zargo, and his companion, Chico, as he struggles to not kill Supermike, multiple times especially the one time Supermike blows up a bridge that some soldiers built, which not only almost killed Zargo but threatened the safety of those soldiers. By the end of this compendium, the reader finds out what a true superhero is and what true evil looks like.
Overall, an epic tale of good and evil told in the romantic setting of the Old West, with science fiction and superhero sensibilities, that make this book, even better than the Wild Wild West and unlike anything that has been seen since. The stories by Nolitta, ae epic, and sweeping and complex, all at once, proving he is storyteller ahead of his time. The art by Ferri, is engaging and stunning, as his influence can be seen in artists today. Altogether, if you love great storytelling and beautiful sequential art, with some equally appealing essays, this book should have been in your house yesterday.
Story: Guido Nolita Art: Gallieno Ferri
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: BUY NOW!!!!