Published on October 24th, 2015 | by Steven Roman
Review: Fistful of Blood #1 (of 4), Sexy Zombie-Western from Bisley and Eastman
“I’m alive, and I want to remain with the living, understand? And when I’m dead, I want to remain with the dead. And I would be unhappy if somebody living forces me to remain with the living.”—Silvanito (played by Jose Calvo), in A Fistful of Dollars
A scantily clad woman stumbles out of the desert and into a long-forgotten town, where she’s set upon by cowboy zombies who have every intention of eating her—after trying to rape her, of course—only to get all their heads (big and small) blown off once she gets her hand on a six-shooter. Then she goes off in search of a pair of pants.
So begins the journey of the Woman With No Name.
Fistful of Blood #1 comes courtesy of writer Kevin Eastman (well known to comic fans as the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and artist Simon Bisley (Lobo, Judge Dredd), whose pages have been “re-mastered,” his pencils having been redrawn by Eastman and recolored by Tom Varga. Originally serialized in the pages of Heavy Metal—during the period in which Eastman was owner and publisher of the magazine—and collected in graphic novel form in 2002, this tale involves a clash of genres: a war between zombies and vampires, crossed with a “Spaghetti Western” in the mold of director Sergio Leone’s 1960s “Dollars Trilogy” collaborations with Clint Eastwood: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Only in this case, the silent stranger who comes to town to shake things up is a Woman With No Name—one who, as would be expected from a Bisley female, is clad in as little material as possible.
Eastman’s nod to A Fistful of Dollars goes beyond the title, though. Like Leone’s masterpiece, there seems to be a touch of director Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo in the setup, with a warrior-for-hire caught between two rival factions who winds up working for both, in order to destroy them and get out of town alive. (If you’ve never seen Dollars, you might be familiar with director Walter Hill’s 1996 remake of Yojimbo: Last Man Standing, which starred Bruce Willis and Bruce Dern.) The twist here is that, while the setting might be in America’s West, it’s not the Old West, but an all-but-abandoned town that once served as the location sets for a television series and a popular shoot-‘em-up film.
The unnamed heroine—let’s call her “Blondie,” since a) she’s a blonde, and b) that was the nickname for Eastwood’s character in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly—says not a single word throughout the first issue, relegating all her speechifyin’ to the sounds made by her six-guns as they dispense lead justice. I doubt this trait will last the entirety of the miniseries—even Eastwood’s drifter had words of wisdom to dole out before he started shooting everyone. It’s probably that, like Eastwood’s “Joe” or “Monco” or “Blondie,” she speaks only when she has something to say; conversation isn’t her strong suit. And just like her male counterpart, this Blondie sure knows how to use them-thar pistols…
Bottom line? A curvy, gunslinging heroine who shoots first and asks no questions, going head-to-head with vampires and zombies? Sounds exactly like the kind of miniseries made for a site called Comics for Sinners! Give Fistful of Blood a try before it’s time for the showdown, pardner. How’s it gonna end? Who knows. But one thing’s fer sure: the undertaker’s gonna need to stock up on extra coffins a’fore all the re-killin’s done…
Fistful of Blood #1
Written by Kevin Eastman
Art by Simon Bisley and Kevin Eastman
Main cover art by Simon Bisley
32 pages • full color
Now on sale