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.
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.