Content:Stroman is for mature audiences and contains language, violence, adult situations and some nudity.
Introduction:When I was a kid, I enjoyed the likes of professional wrestling. I was enchanted by the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Jimmy “Supafly” Snuuka, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage…Ooooh Yeah! It was a golden age for me. I had heard that wrestling was fake, but they hadn’t confirmed it yet and I loved jumping off my sofa, attacking my brother with a flying elbow. We watched as much as we could, but eventually we grew out of it.
I had seen the likes of the luchadores, with their masks always on, and high flying antics in, around, and sometimes above the ring. To find out that they kept their masks on all the time in public, keeping their identities secret…well it reminds so much of superheroes and that is what Strongman desires to tap into.
Story:Tigre was a hero wrestler of Mexico, starring in films, showcasing his skills in the ring, and even moonlighted as a hero fighting crime. At one time he was a hero of the people, but now, 30 years after his heyday, he is a drunk and a deadbeat. His strength is diminished, his body worn, but there still remains a glimmer of his former self, Tigre just doesn’t know it yet.
When a young damsel in distress shows up on his door, Tigre is forced from his slumber to face the greatest enemy he has ever known. If he cannot regain the strength that he once had, his life and many more will be forfeit to the great evil that threatens the city and even the world.
Review:There was a lot to like about Strongman. The story of a masked man who still after thirty years wears a wrestling mask to hold to the ideals he had as a young man makes for an interesting character. Tigre is a complex man, one full of suffering and torment that can only come from something self imposed. The art is crisp and detailed, with the shading adding a nice deal of realism and emotion to the page.
The story that unfolds is a superhero tale told with Mexican wrestlers. That concept alone was a great one that had me intrigued. The youtube videos also added a nice marketing pitch that was a nice touch and made me think this comic was worth checking out. I love original ideas and unusual marketing, so this was a nice touch.
Overall, the story unfolds nicely, and I enjoyed seeing Tigre come back from the deadbeat loser to the avenging hero. The villain truly is cruel and sadistic, and when the story reveals who everyone truly is, you want to see him win even more and come out on top.
The art is also well done, with Gladfelter showing some find attention to detail and what really made it was the shading and blacks, really giving a nice feel to the work. It really helped put in the sense of sadness at times, reminiscing at others, and anger as well. It works well for the black and white style.
Probably my only real complaint about the art was that sometimes Tigre’s sense of size changed. He would look large and old in most of the panels, but sometimes would revert to a smaller size that didn’t fit with the rest of the piece, and I’m not talking out the flashbacks either. This was something that I felt could have had a bit more attention.