6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton Graphic Novel Review

From writer Kyle Starks, art, colors, and lettering by Chris Schweizer, coloring assists by Liz Trice Schweizer, editor Jon Moisan, published by Image Comics. This volume collects issues 1-6.

Trigger Keaton can best be described as an asshole version of Chuck Norris. He’s an action star, a martial arts expert, horrible to everyone, violent, drunk, dangerous, and yet he makes money so he keeps getting work. Along the way he has had various sidekicks on his often canceled TV shows. Six of them in fact. One day, Trigger’s body is discovered. Ruled a suicide, but his most recent sidekick doesn’t believe that. After the reading of the will, a murder investigation begins which will tie all six of his former sidekicks together with one mission – to discover who killed Trigger Keaton. 

I heard about this comic through my friends on the Longbox Heroes podcast, and have been anxiously awaiting the trade ever since. I had no clue where the story would go, or who the killer would be – purposely putting all discussion of the comic from the podcast out of my head so I could be surprised. 

The story flows with such logic, and emotion, and heart, and humor, and drama. It literally has everything. Characters have reasons, history, and every part of the story makes sense and is revealed in ways that don’t feel forced. No heavy handed exposition. Plus, and it’s too bad this is a rarity in some comics, every single character is distinctive and readers will have no trouble keeping them apart. This felt like six fully formed real people brought together, and not character tropes with no soul. As much as that is a tribute to how well written the six sidekicks are, the art is really something unique. It’s every classic Mad magazine artist jumbled into one pen. Richly detailed, yet cartoonish. Dramatic pacing like Mort Drucker, silliness of Don Martin, and a fight outside of the panels like Sergio Aragones. 

All the while I’m trying to guess the murder myself and never saw the ending coming. Red herrings abound yet the truth makes tons of sense. Where the sidekicks go next is also perfect. I don’t know how old Starks or Schweizer are but there’s some big children of the 80s vibes here and I’m loving it.

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