Street Tiger (#1 – 4) – Ertito Montana

4 out of 5

Aw shoot and dang, thank yew, Amigo Comics.

At first, my inclination is to say that this, stylistically and tonally, is a departure for the Spanish-to-English imprint, but that’s totally not the case: Street Tiger’s exploitation influence is felt throughout the various horror titles in Amigo’s output, not to mention the straight-up z-grade vibe of things like Nancy in Hell and Sidney Hammer; the experimental nature of the art is perhaps more out there than what we’ve yet seen, but it’s not like Amigo has a house style, and across their catalogue you can see the desire to match the art to the writing.  And Street Tiger thrives on creator Ertito Montana’s rough, simplistic style; something more realistic or detailed wouldn’t sell the late-night, behind-the-curtain vibe of this thing.

Street Tiger is a motorcycle-helmeted, bat-wielding vengeance seeker, sending messages via bashed in skulls.  His preference is for the bat, but there’s no compunction preventing him from picking up a shotgun or two, as he blasts his way through street thugs to get to the 20th floor headquarters of Nam City’s kingpin, Egghead.  Montana commits some grandly awesome violence, with gritty kung-Fu choregraphy and great production design (ruddy two-tone colors, smudged backgrounds in the page gutters) serving to make the loose, flat artwork the perfect representative for the grindhouse-flavored thrills.  There are further embellishments along the way, via Bond villains and a ninja named Black Dove, and a plot ante-up that’s delightfully ridiculous.  A huge exposition dump explaining the latter is the mini’s main roadbump to perfection, and there’s a weird deus ex machina solution to a scuffle that I hope has some more fallout in the promised (thank god!) volume 2 of this book, though the final issue payoff is almost enough to counter these things.

I’ve been hyping Amigo along the way, so no need to repeat, but I’ll underline how glad I am that they seem to be in full swing with more exciting titles along the way.