Paladin of Axes #1 Review: Keep Comics Weird

Paladin of Axes review header

In Paladin of Axes #1 by Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan, a roadie gets recruited by some gnomes. Another comic about this? SIGH.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Paladin of Axes #1 Review:

Hector Smalley is a roadie known as the Paladin of Axes (hey, that’s the title!) After a devastating plane crash, his life is saved by a bunch of mischievous gnomes who send him to retrieve mystical items from Earth… Forever.

Kicking things off, host Alex Zalben noted the book is as “funny as you might expect from Gerry Duggan, but also serious in terms of what happens to [the main character]… It feels like a fable.”

Pete LePage said, “This story is insane. When you think you have a grasp on what’s happening, the floor drops out from you and it gets even crazier. I love all the twists and turns that definitely keep your attention.”

Justin Tyler agreed, and added, “I want more comics like this that are standalone stories that feel fun… I haven’t heard this type of story [before].”

Zalben added some context that the comic originally appeared on Gerry Duggan’s Substack, “which really points to the freedom of that to create something that is a seventy-something page issue, where it’s just a one-shot, and it’s telling one story. It doesn’t feel confined to the 20, 24-page dynamic of a comic book… More freedom, do more weird stories.”

Added LePage: “Keep stories weird.”

Paladin of Axes #1 Official Synopsis:

GERRY DUGGAN & DAVID O’SULLIVAN of ANALOG fame reteam on the perfect comic book to celebrate Halloween. It’s the first appearance of HECTOR SMALLEY, a guitar tech known as THE PALADIN OF AXES. He’s working for the world’s biggest rock band, and when he and the whole band are killed in a plane crash, it’s unexpectedly just the beginning of his bad times.

It’s a sad tale of working yourself to death—literally. Equal parts Evil Dead and Time Bandits, this horror comedy will put a smile on your face on one page and punch it off on the page turn. Throw your horns in the air for THE PALADIN OF AXES!

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