comicsthegathering dot com logo


by Michael D on October 11, 2017

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Ian Bederman
Publisher: Image

In Atomahawk, creators Donny Cates and Ian Bederman bring a heavy metal inspired tattoo to life with a story about a cyborg barbarian, laser firing robot unicorn, and a magic axe. If any of that sounds even remotely interesting to you, then check out this week’s double-sized issue #0. The contents of this book were originally collected across three issues of the Heavy Metal Magazine. Fortunately, it gets to reach a larger audience now while also including some bonus material for people who have read this material already.

Cates is on fire right now and one of his strengths is his ability to tackle multiple genres. He handles this over-the-top heavy metal adventure very well, acknowledging its ridiculous nature while also lending some legitimacy to it. A cyborg barbarian is surprisingly compelling when written by Cates. He also manages some deep world building over the course of this one issue. This deep lore helps to make this issue more than just a one note story and ensures I’ll be back for #1.

While Cates does some fun stuff here, the real star is Ian Bederman’s art. It’s incredible. It’s a heavy metal album cover brought to life. Bedermans’s imagination is wild. The designs of everything from the characters to the weapons to the landscapes are so unique and eye catching that you can’t help but just stare. His panel work is also equally unique. He focuses on a more circular and triangular panel layout that he says is inspired by his tattoo art. It manages to try something different while also still being entirely coherent and clear. There is one fight sequence at the end involving a ricocheting weapon that is a great example of how he uses his unique panel work for effective story telling. Also worth mentioning is the color work. It is brilliant, filled with bright neon colors and cool blues, a perfect homage to the work that inspired it.

Donny Cates and Ian Bederman bring their A game with issue #0 of Atomahawk. It’s a beautiful book inspired by Sci-Fi heavy metal album covers. The art will leave your jaw on the floor while the story will leave you wanting more.

Our Score:


A Look Inside