Ding ding ding! Let’s get ready to…pass legislation?! Welcome to On The Stump #1 by writer Chuck Brown and artist Prenzy, where corrupt politics and brutalized hand-to-hand combat meet in and outside the ring. Senators duke it out in a no-holds-barred battle where the winner gets to put whatever bill they’re trying to pass into law. The story revolves around Jack Hammer, a washed-up Senator whose glory days are long behind him. But when a Senator known as Thunder Bearer tries to get murder on The Stump legalized, Hammer unwillingly becomes part of a large conspiracy.
Finally, a story about politics that people will actually want to read. Even more ironic, it’s a story with an African American as the main protagonist about passing bills into legislation, a privilege that a black man hasn’t always had. It’s a plot that feels like The Purge meets Celebrity Deathmatch meets Gladiator, but with political stakes on the line. It’s an unapologetic thriller starring a lot of pissed off people. We don’t get much backstory on any of the characters except some small dialogue spoken about Jack Hammer. What we do learn is that Jack Hammer was once a great Senator who in the present looks more like Danny Glover when he was on the verge of retirement and said he was too old for this stuff.
Bringing the Brutality to Life
Shifting gears to the artwork, let’s begin with the amazing cover art by Prenzy, which has an Olympus Has Fallen meets Rocky kind of vibe. It looks so badass. It features all the main protagonists and antagonists we encounter within the first issue. If you’re into variants, each issue in the first arc features a connecting cover by illustrator Sanford Greene.
The pencil work in this comic can be described as grim, gritty, and in-your-face. The panels coincide perfectly with the actions of each character. Great placement of motion lines, word balloons, captions, with some commendable color choices. I loved overall the character designs and facial expressions — Prenzy captures the raw emotions of each individual perfectly panel for panel.
I love how Prenzy was able to illustrate freeze-frame moments to introduce Senator Jack Hammer and his opponent Senator Sweet Smell Shaw in the opening of the story. The book is full of awesome moments like this throughout and the brutality level goes from zero to a hundred pretty fast, so fair warning. Overall, the illustrations go hand and hand with the hardened nature of the plot.
On The Stump is off to a great start with issue #1. It’ll be interesting to see how Brown and Prenzy expand upon the world and give us more backstory on the characters as the series continues. If you’re a fan of WWE/AEW, UFC, or just fighting in general, you’ll love this story. Make sure to grab your copy at your local comic shop today.