Kyle Starks’ Kung-Fu Hobo Epic Reveals Jackson’s Past In Rock Candy Mountain #5

by Brendan M. Allen

Finally, the dramatic origin story of the World’s Toughest Hobo, Jackson. We travel through deals with devils, world wars, trench battles, magical artifacts, shocking turns, and tragic decisions. The world’s only kung-fu hobo epic continues in this exciting flashback adventure.

“A Hobo Came A-Walkin’”

In the first four chapters of Kyle Starks’ Rock Candy Mountain, we were introduced to a mysterious hobo named Jackson who apparently can’t lose a fair fight. Jackson spends most of the first arc collecting artifacts and allies for some big job. All the while, Jackson’s being chased down by the FBI, the hobo mafia, and the Devil himself.

Rock Candy Mountain #5 flashes back to before Jackson’s hobo lifestyle, circa WWII. He has a wife and a baby daughter. We get to see a side of the man that isn’t present at all in the first storyline. Turns out, he’s actually pretty sensitive. Jackson pulls a draft slip and has to get creative to find a way to make it home to his girls in one piece.

That stick Jackson’s been hauling around everywhere? Yeah, that’s no stick. The story of how he came into possession of that particular stick is key to the rest of the story. It also explains a lot about why everyone in the world seems to want to locate this guy.

Kyle Starks is a master storyteller whose dialogue absolutely slays. It isn’t even just that it’s really, really funny. Starks has clearly done a lot of research into the period and hobo sub culture. The slick wit and period references don’t feel forced at any point, and the story drives straight through without getting hung up on anything insignificant. I haven’t read a chapter of Rock Candy Mountain I haven’t loved, and this is no exception.

If you’re coming in cold to the story, Rock Candy Mountain #5 is a decent enough place to jump in, but if you haven’t already picked them up, you’ll definitely want to grab the first four chapters, conveniently collected for you in Rock Candy Mountain, Volume 1 TP.

Rock Candy Mountain #5, published by Image Comics, releases on the 8th of November 2017, with script and art by Kyle Starks, color by Chris Schweizer, $3.99.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It’s a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.