Review: `The Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel To Be Kin’ #3 Is Pure Geof Darrow

by Tom Smithyman


Geof Darrow fans will continue to rejoice with the irreverent humor and unique imagination of the master storyteller. This latest chapter features the katana-wield hero fighting a massive plucked chicken, a floating jellyfish and a Komodo dragon bent on revenge. Pure Darrow. Pure joy.


Only Geof Darrow.

Only a mind a wickedly and wonderfully demented as Darrow’s could pull off something like Shaolin Cowboy – a Buddha-following, six-gun-packing, katana-wielding – and make it so good readers keep coming back for more.

Only Darrow could create a new limited series that follows the cowboy’s exploits as he adopts a baby Komodo dragon just before it’s about to be eaten by its biological father and taken hostage by a jellyfish-riding, constantly regenerating bad guy. And all the while, he’s fighting off a two-ton chicken and a pack of alligators – all in the desert. What’s not to love?

Darrow has full creative control, having written the story and drawn each page. Longtime collaborator Dave Stewart is left with the unenviable task of coloring these beautiful monstrosities.

Darrow is clearly an acquired taste. Readers who are looking for a straightforward narrative should search elsewhere. This seven-part series is full of dogs sporting MAGA tattoos, philosophical Komodo dragons and dialogue that will literally make you laugh out loud. (At one point, the bad guy, tired of the cowboy’s vicious martial arts attacks yells out “Kung fool!” Another more biting moment has one character questioning how the cowboy could have learned his moves while studying the ways of the Buddha. “In my experience, all churches have at one time or another come up with new ways of hurting others. Founded in love, twisted by hate and power or greed or all three.”)

But it’s Darrow’s visuals that keep most readers coming back for more. And he continues to deliver. Just when you think you’ve seen enough of a battle, he throws in a twist and turns everything on its head. (Or he removes the head altogether. Honestly, it’s a coin flip.) Only Darrow!

The Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to be Kin #3 is available for purchase today.

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