by Patrick Ehlers
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Drew made a case for the first issue of Fu Jitsu being the height of absurdity. He wasn’t wrong: Fu, and his attendant mythology are an unwieldy mess of ancient Chinese mysticism, Biblical appropriation, and nuclear-fueled alternate history. Fu’s connection to the “present day” was largely superficial — he enjoys football and Whataburger. But issue 2 rams the historical absurdism into modern — even future — absurdism, trading in some of the least-likely real-life threats from 2017 and beyond.
Writer Jai Nitz gets cooking so quickly with his mythology stew that normally huge revelations, like the fact that the spacecraft recovered in 1947 in Roswell was somehow connected to Fu, stand as tossed-out details in the villain’s monologue. It’s breathless and daring, intentionally priming the reader to play fast and loose with the facts of the real world as we understand them. There’s also this amazing first panel of the issue, where forty-sixth president of the United States Orrin Hatch surrenders to Robert Wadlow. That forces the reader to jump forward in time both within the context of this story, but also within the context of our own reality. How far in the future are we? Did Wadlow simply slice through Trump, Pence and Ryan, leaving Hatch to assume (and ultimately surrender) the Presidency? Whatever happened, this is decidedly our world Nitz is playing in.
And artist Wesley St Claire is more than capable of brining that IRL absurdity to life. I can’t think of a better example of this than the Wadlow’s assembled henchmen.
“Alt-Right Hook” is a Venture Brothers-caliber joke, brimming with a necessary irreverence. This group of villains represents counter cultures and fears from right fucking now. One of them is called Death Panel! The pairing of Alt-Right Hook and the Juggalo recalls the march from September this year. That happened just a hair over a moth before this issue was released, so it might just be fortuitous timing and Nitz and St. Claire’s part, but holy cow does that feel current.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?