Double-Out #1-2 Review

Creator/Editor: Ryan Hulcy
Writer/Editor: Brian Hawkins
Artist/Letterer: Fernando Maiaru and Estanislao Marugo
Published via Kickstarter by Obscure Productions Comics

“Darts is the #1 sport on the planet and the International Darts Federation (IDF) is the Major Leagues. The greatest darts athletes in the world have one thing in common and that is an ability to manifest a spirit animal within their dart throws. Hundreds of millions of people tunes in to watch the IDF and a pro contract is a goal for all.

Enter Jin Suzuki, a down on his luck underachieving darts player caught between being a father to his son, Kin, a gambling debt with the mob boss, Crimson, and following his dreams to become a pro darts player in the IDF. Follow along with his journey to discover if he can find redemption with his family, pay off his debts, become a pro player, or possibly fail and continue the downward spiral. “Double-Out” is planned to be an 8-issue volume.”

What do you get when you mix darts with animal avatars, mobs, and extreme sports? You get Double-Out, a story full of emotion and struggles of a very real human in a fantastical world where darts is the biggest sport in the world and the greatest athletes of this sport manifest their spirit animals when throwing their darts! This concept, created by Ryan Hulcy, is such a fun idea that gives our main character, Jin, hope that he can one day become one of the greats. Hulcy, together with writer Brian Hawkins (Black Cotton, The Vineyard), take us through the struggles of Jin, who is addicted to gambling playing darts and trying to prove that he deserves to be among the great darts players.

Jin is hoping for a redemption story, to become a pro player, and pay off debts that he owes to a mysterious mob boss with an intriguing scar, whose face is only seen in shadows. I’m loving the secrecy behind this character and his motivations (other than the obvious – give me my money!). Why does this shrouded character seem willing to continually give Jin a chance?

Though this is, on the surface, is a story about darts and fun and fantistcal dart-throwing powers, it is also very much a story about an addict looking to “fix things.” Addiction very much has affected Jin’s life and his relationships with his family and he will do anything to try to make that right. I’m excited to see this character grow throughout the story as this part of the story is very important and may connect with many readers out there who are dealing with their own addictions.

Art and lettering team Fernando Maiaru and Estanislao Marugo are fantastic and, at times, bring a manga-esque vibe to the art – especially wit the dart throwing. Their depictions of the boss leave a huge impression and are the reason you can feel his power, his ruthlessness, but also he is such a charichature of a mob boss that him giving Jin chances catches the reader by surprise and really has you wondering what else motivates this character. Page layouts are fun, interesting and bring the readers attention through the book in unique non-standard ways.

If you love interesting and flawed characters, darts, and elements of mysticism and the supernatural, be sure to back Double-Out #1-2 on Kickstarter right now!

Also, it’s got a dope song?? https://youtu.be/6ZQb4x2HpK4

Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanhulcy/double-out-2-the-intoxicating-shonen-darts-comic?ref=profile_backed

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