Tag Archives: john pence

Unlikely Heroes Drops a New Kid-Friendly Title Hot Brass, Pharoah’s Gold

Unlikely Heroes Studios has been busy lately. After the back-to-back digital release of The Surgeon #3 and The Unthinkables #1, the indie publisher also released a surprise title by Surgeon writer, John Pence, co-written his young son Will.

Hot Brass, Pharaoh’s Gold started with then-ten-year-old Will asking the important question that all parents face sooner or later: Who would win in a fight between cowboys and mummies? Immediately, the father-son team set out to find the answer. Hot Brass starts with a train robbery, wakes up a bunch of mummies, and calls in the sheriff to sort it all out over the course of 32 pages of wild fun.

Art duties for this book are handled by veteran comics artist Joe Koziarski, who started his career working on Speed Racer in the ‘90s and worked with Pence on The Ballad of Brighid of Atlanta in 2015.

Hot Brass, Pharaoh’s Gold is currently available in electronic format from the publisher and all major online comics retailers.

Hot Brass, Pharaoh’s Gold

Review: The Surgeon #2


Like many who have read JRR Tolkien’s books over the years,  I was elated by the fact that the books were being made into movies. The last time I remembered seeing them onscreen was Ralph Bakshi’s somewhat adequate animated films back in the 1970s. I had hope that new realization of the books, and live-action one at that, would serve Tolkien’s vision best.

Peter Jackson of course delivered giving book fans and film fans the heroes they grew up reading and a new set of protagonists to root for. My favorite Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, was where our heroes gain an ally by helping them regain their kingdom. What was so dazzling about the film was the major battle that takes place. It was one that would set precedent for every medieval battle on film since. In the second issue of The Surgeon, Faron must help the Fort fight off this band of marauders.

We find, Doc Jenny Hanover, fortified behind Tuttle Island’s gates, ones that she does not know their battle worthiness yet. As she stands her ground, she singlehandedly takes out the majority of the hoard, leaving one barely alive and hanging half limp off his horse. As both sides regroup and recoup, Jenny realizes just how unready most of the Fort is for such a fight. By the issue’s end, the marauders have breached the walls, and everyone’s fate becomes that much more uncertain.

Overall, a pulse-pounding second issue that becomes more interesting with each page turn. The story by John Pence is exciting.  The art by the creative team is simply stunning. Altogether, a story that simply rocks.

Story: John Pence Art: Zack Dolan, Laurie Foster, Everardo Orozco, and Erek Foster
Story: 10 Art:10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: comiXologyAmazon

Review: The Surgeon #1

The Surgeon #1

One of my favorite actors of recent years is Clive Owen. Many Americans know him from much of his stateside work. I remember seeing him in I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, a quintessential British gangster movie, which I have recommended to about all my friends. One of his most recent movies which I am actually a huge fan of, mostly because it is a British medieval send-up of 47 Ronin, is Last Knights.

Of course, one of my favorite movies by him, and rightfully so, is Children Of Men. It’s about a post-apocalyptic world where infertility is a pandemic sweeping the world. His protagonist, Theo Faron looks to save the world by transporting a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary. That is the power of science fiction, to hold a mirror, to society’s ills. In the debut issue of The Surgeon, we meet a protagonist much like Faron, and whose destiny is about to change.

We meet our hero, Doc Jenny Hanover, a former high paid surgeon, who now takes odd jobs in medicine to get paid and who also lives in a post-apocalyptic world where anarchy and pollution have taken hold of much of the East Coast. We find her as she arrives to a Fort called Turtle Island in South Dakota’s Black Hills, where she answered a job advertisement on Craigslist, by way of Medical flag, for a doctor. As she surveys the settlement, she notices, how prosperous the land as well as the stockpile of weaponry they have on hand. This is where she meets the Master at Arms, Dave Rogers, who runs a pretty solid organization at first glance. As Hanson, begins treating the different patients, through triage, helping many of the Fort’s residents, including a young girl, whom she had to operate on. As the residents soon find out she is more than a skilled physician but a trained fighter, whose skills were enough for them to ask her to train their militia. By issue’s end, while on patrol, they come under attack by a band of barbarians, one who is bringing the fight to Fort and whom Hanover is ready to fight.

Overall, an engaging book that feels as if Imperator Furiosa was a doctor and it was set in America. The story by Pence is well developed and well characterized. The art by the creative team is simply gorgeous. Altogether, a story puts the women and men in this vocation in their proper role, as heroes.

Story: John Pence Art: Zack Dolan, Laurie Foster, Everardo Orozco, and Erek Foster
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Unlikely Heroes Studios Survives the Apocalypse with “The Surgeon”

Unlikely Heroes Studios, publishers of the hit indie comics series Super!, announces the electronic release of the first issue in a new series. The Surgeon is a uniquely American postapocalyptic Western built around the struggle of a traveling physician who has sworn to “first do no harm,” but must kill for survival. “Chapter One, Turtle Island” follows Doctor Jenny Hanover as she answers a call for a frontier physician — and finds much more than she bargained for.

The Surgeon is written by John Pence and will continue for four more chapters. Pence’s writing career started in the early 2000s with literary fiction, but in recent years he has focused on the comics medium.

The comic features art by Zack Dolan, colors by Eve Orozco, inks by Laurie Foster, and lettering by Erek Foster.

The Surgeon, “Chapter One: Turtle Island” will be available on Comixology, Amazon Kindle, and Patreon, and UHS is currently running a Kickstarter to finance a print run.