This week Busted Knuckles is gonna pass on to you some manly suggestions of items that you may find of interest. As most of you know I do not waste my time, or more importantly, yours.

That ain’t manly.

These manly items are things you should really check out. Ya see, I’m trying my best to keep you out of Starbuck’s and from watching reruns of Sex And The City. It’s a dangerous world out there and I’m doing my best to keep it safe for you.

Manly Item #1

Team Zero
– comic book, Wildstorm Studios/DC Comics.
– written by Chuck Dixon with art by Doug Mahnke and Sandra Hope

Not often in these very overly PC times does a truly manly comic book slip under the radar of the Nancy-Boy Police. Recently one did. That comic is TEAM ZERO.

This is more than a war comic. By war comic I mean one that takes place in one of the many real life wars that has taken place on this planet. This time it’s World War II. The opening splash page to issue #2 should be enough to hook any reader with hair on their chest and head busting in their hearts. You might ask what makes this shot so manly? You’ve seen tough guys point pistols at folks before. Well, the difference is he’s pointing it at a friggin’ tank!

Every real American male loved the movie THE DIRTY DOZEN. You’ll always see it listed on every guy’s favorite movie list. If that rings true for you then TEAM ZERO is a must for you. This is THE DIRTY DOZEN on ‘roids. It’s the best work of Doug Mahnke’s career. Sandra Hope adds a really nice grit to Doug’s lines. David Baron does up the coloring on this and he also adds his touch to make this a really fine series.

The main thing that makes TEAM ZERO a manly fistful of testosterone is the dialogue and characters that Chuck Dixon has been let loose to do. Ya see, Chuck has always been one of the few writers in comics that truly knows how to write smart tough guy stuff. Not like others that simply repeat what they saw in the latest Hollywood version of what they think is tough guy stuff. Chuck also doesn’t fall into that same trench that other writers do when they think they are doing tough guy stuff. That being adding some perverse little twist of either gross out or serial killer rehashed muck.

Chuck stands up, and marches his characters with interesting personalities and layers that go beyond just being able to fire a gun and throw out a tired one liner. In TEAM ZERO, he and Doug make sure that even on a talking heads page you are interested with the way the characters talk and the way they move.

Go out and grab this book. See how it’s done right and how the others are just wrong.

Manly Item #2

– book by Clifford Meth with various artists
– Aardwolf Publishing. In Stores In March.

Here’s another gem that is gonna slip under the radar for those Starbuck sippin’ sissies that melt into a whimpering mess at the mention of John Wayne. METHo.d. is a pack of 13 howling stories that will creep you out and make you wanna sleep with the lights on for a few days. Unless you’re me, and you never will be, then you’ll just sleep with someone’s girlfriend for a week or so until she becomes annoying.

Clifford Meth has done this really manly book of stories of his own design that will entertain you to no end and make you wanna write the movie studios to have em’ turn these into films. Cliff has gathered some of his good buddies and top talent artists to help him place some key illustrations into this book of bone busting excitement. Guys like Steve “Loves The ladies” Lieber, “Ammo” Al Milgrom, Jordan “Jump Em’ First” Raskin, Michael “The Nailer” Netzer, William Messner”Don’t call me Jeph” Loebs, and Dave & Paty “Bonnie & Clyde” Cockrum. That ain’t all. There’s a introduction by Peter “Prince of Pop You In The Mouth Culture” David and a killer cover by one of the most dangerous men in comics?Jim “String em’ all up” Steranko. The inmates aren’t running the asylum, they’ve done blown it up and are coming to your neighborhood!

Jim Reeber and the good folks at Aardwolf Publishing have taken yet another step in providing people with something worth reading. A step other publishers need to follow. My manly suggestion is to have your local retailer order it now or go ahead and pre-order it directly from Aardwolf so you won’t miss out. Tell em’ Beau sent ya.

Manly Item #3

Four Brothers
– Film/DVD 2005
– directed By John Singleton. Written by David Elliott & Paul Lovett

I watched this movie just recently on DVD from the recommendations of friends that I trust. I’ve gotta be honest, I kinda grimaced a little. I figured it was gonna be another one of these tired hip-hop “gangsta” movies that take place in L.A. and spits out the same clichés and poses of guys shooting guns sideways.

I was wrong.

FOUR BROTHERS was a very well acted, well directed and incredibly well shot film. It reminded me very much of the way me and my brothers have busted each others balls and continue to do so today. There were no cliché characters, either good guys or bad guys. The photography of the movie was excellent and really played a part of the way the movie was presented. I am always a sucker for any movie, story or comic book that takes place in the winter with snow as a character.

This film takes place in Detroit (shot in Canada) and they really made it look like Detroit. When you think about the lead actors, Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, and Garrett Hedlund, don’t have all that many movies under their belts. Wahlberg has done the most and his list isn’t really that long. Under the direction of John Singleton each of these actors come across like seasoned pros. I was impressed.

Each character has a back story you want to know more about. There is an investment made by you as the viewer in a short time space making the outcome of these characters mean something to you.

I don’t care much for car chases. They either go on too long or they are just boring. This film had one that I found exciting and original. I was very surprised when my finger didn’t jab the fast forward button on the remote as usually does when a car chase comes on.

Without ruining the movie for you, the final stand or ending of the movie is done in pure western style. I loved it. It looked great and was played out like it was pulled from a fine John Wayne movie of the 40s and 50s.

The thing that I liked most about FOUR BROTHERS is that is touched on loyalty and family. That was the statement of the film to me. It showed that even though the “heroes” of the movie aren’t exactly well adjusted angels, that they have heart and true sense of what’s right and wrong. The revenge and justice in this film is handled in the same way John Wayne and other western stars handled it in their prime. That really stands out here.

It’s something that Hollywood has been leaving out in their so called action movies of recent years. Hollywood wonders why films like XXX, The Island, and Stealth have driven young and older males away from the movies in cattle like herds, well it’s because those films have what I’ve been calling “Frat-Boy” action. I know you must be tired of hearing me gripe about it, but I feel it’s important enough to mention every chance I get.

Some of these Hollywood film makers and suits think that if they skim Maxim Magazine, play a video game for five minutes and watch MTV for an hour that they know what guys want. Don’t slip on my vomit as you leave.

People want character investment. They want action that is real. It’s time to cut the kung fu wires, hold that pistol right and cut out that 30 minute car chase and fighter jet dog fight. Do like Singleton did and research what has come before. Study what Sam Peckinpah, Howard Hawks, and John Ford did. Learn from that and make your own.

Hollywood writers and directors need to talk to real people that have been in a fight, been in a war, really fought crime. You’re not gonna find these people on the slopes of Aspen, snowboarding in Vermont or poolside in L.A.

FOUR BROTHERS is a step in the right direction. I hope that the marketing monkeys at the film studios do a better job pushing the next movie like this.

Oh? did I mention that Sofia Vergara is in this movie?

Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

Lisa Vidal
– actress

This New York City girl always captures my eyes when she is in a movie or on TV. Her range as an actress is pretty much unlimited as she has shown many times over playing every role from a dead aim, jaw busting cop, caring mother, doctor and sexy femme fatale. You more than likely have seen her on TV in shows like THIRD WATCH, ER, or THE DIVISION.

When it comes down to it , really doesn’t matter what you saw her in as long as you saw her. The next thing you’ll see her is in a thriller movie called SHUT IN.

Busted Knuckle Manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week

G.I. Joe #10
Ziff-Davis 1950

Last week I got more emails about my Manly Cover Of The Week than any other cover that has been put up in Busted Knuckles. It seems that not many of you out there knew that there was a G.I.Joe before the cartoon series. I was flooded with requests for more of the corn-fed fightin’ farm boy G.I. Joe Burch. Everybody wanted to know more about this great series of the 50’s where clobbering commies was the order of the day.

So you demand and I supply. Here is the painted cover of G.I. Joe #10. Here we have Joe giving a Ty Cobb power swing to the melon of a sneaky commie that was looking to do all kinds of wrong against the United States. Notice a couple of things, the look of utter delight in Joe’s eyes as he knocks the commie into next week. Also check out the background and you’ll see another G.I. delivering a great right cross to another commie on the hit parade.

This issue is out of my personal collection and is in beautiful shape. Looks almost like it did on the newsstand backing 1950. A good buddy of mine, Steve “Count” Downs gave this to me a few years back. I am in his debt for this wonderful gift. This issue is really packed with all sorts of politically incorrect manly scenes. It’s got commies being stabbed, thrown off cliffs, punched in the eye, torched with a flame thrower, hit with a tree branch, beaten with a club, and blown up by grenades. All in this one issue! There are tons of ethnic slurs hurled upon the commies and the G.I.’s alike. Everything you can’t get away with today in a comic book.

If you ever get the chance look for an old issue of G.I. Joe next time you’re on Ebay or at a convention. You’ll be glad ya did.

Cobb: Off The Leash. Another Manly Advance Look

Before I sign off for this week I thought I’d show y’all another advance look at some of the art from my new comic book creation coming out in May from IDW Publishing called Cobb: Off The Leash. It’s a four issue mini-series written and created by me with art by my good amigo, Eduardo Barreto.

This is a series you do not wanna miss. It’s where I put money where my manly mouth is. This is tough guy action with character. No bragging. Cobb is what I think comic books and Hollywood have been missing. I hope you agree with me when you read the first issue this May.

Cobb: Off The Leash deals with Cobb, a former Level One Secret Service agent up to his knees in shell casings and broken bones as he goes up a very different Russian Mafia with Terrorist ties. This book will not be PC when dealing with Terrorists. Kid gloves have been replaced with sap gloves, the lead lined kind.

Cobb: Off The Leash is for anyone that enjoys films and TV shows like The Shield, 24, Wanted, The Transporter, and In The Line Of Duty.

Keep your eyes peeled here and on my own website, The Flying Fist Ranch for more upcoming news on Cobb. Remember, this ain’t The Punisher. It ain’t Batman. It’s better than what you’re used to. It’s Cobb.

Show’s Over

I’ve taken up enough of your time this week. I wanna thank all of ya that wrote in and continue to write in about last week’s Busted Knuckles column about THE WILD BUNCH. I’m glad I hit a chord with ya and It’s good to know that you are backing me on this one.

A big thanks goes out to Lucinda Shelton from Longview, Texas for sending me that great book on director, John Ford. I am half way into it and I am very much in your debt for your kindness.

Also a thank you goes out to Marlon Simpson from Los Angeles for batch of B-Movie action DVDs you sent me. I will be watching those for quite some time to come. I plan on having a Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Roddy Piper marathon real soon. That video store you run sounds like a real haven for great B-Movie actions films! I hope you like the package I sent out to you full of manly stuff.

The cowboy hat goes off this week to my amigo in Evansville, Indiana, Jim Alexander for sending me the DVD sets of THE HERCULOIDS, THE MIGHTY MIGHTOR, and SPACE GHOST. That was better than anything I got at Christmas. Every time I watch those classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons I am a 4th grader all over again. I’m so happy I’d almost use the word giddy if it weren’t such a sissy word. One that my buddy, Frank Cho seems to use a little too much, if ya ask me.

I am still on the look out for a DVD or VHS copy of IN THE LINE OF DUTY: THE FBI MURDERS with David Soul and Michael Gross. If anybody can help me out there I’ll be sure and kneecap anyone ya don’t like and throw in tying em’ to the front of my tractor for free!

Y’all stay outta trouble.

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin