Shirtless Bear-Fighter is one of the most interesting books on comic stands, and issue #3 will only up the ante for the off-the-wall series.
The team of Jody LeHeup and Sebastian Girner work tirelessly to bring the adventures of Shirtless to the page, and ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to LeHeup about what's coming up in issue #3.
Before the issue #3 talk though, it was time for a quick look at the incredible success of the first two issues. Specifically, what exactly about Shirtless LeHeup thinks resonates so much with fans.
"There’s so much to love about this book. It’s hard to know where to start! Maybe SBF
resonates because it’s a gorgeously illustrated, over-the-top, fight-comic. Maybe it’s because people enjoy falling out of their chairs laughing. Maybe it’s because we’re living through some very dark times and people like to be reminded what joy feels like. Or maybe people just really like pixelated dongs."
"Honestly though I think the real reason fans are resonating with SBF is because it speaks to that inner self, that little bear-fighter deep inside all of us that power fantasizes about
standing up to bear oppression."
Turns out there's a Bear-Fighter in all of us, even the ones that run into walls on a daily basis.
"Don’t believe me, Matt? Here...look… Look at that bear. Over there on that fabric softener ad. See it? Look at its face. Look at its smug, smug face. That bear’s not better than you. But it thinks it is. What are you gonna do about it, Matt? What are you gonna do? You know what you’re gonna do? Nothing. Because you don’t have the strength. But SBF does. He’s the hero we need, Matt. We are all Shirtless Bear-Fighter."
Hit the next slide for insights into Shirtless Bear-Fighter's tragic past!
Fans of the series have seen teases of Shirtless Bear-Fighter's tragic past. Once content to protect the bears of the forest, including his adopted family, something changed him drastically, turning him against the bear population.
A glimpse of that is shown in issue #2 as Shirtless is fighting the effects of the magic bacon. When asked if issue #3 will shed more light on this, LeHeup seemed to indicate it's a major possibility.
"All will be revealed in due time but fans will learn significantly more in issue 3," LeHeup said. "I can say though that whatever happened...it was bad. Bad enough to turn a man against his own people. What’s important though is what happened after the event. How we deal with anger and loss is at the heart of our story."
As you can see in the preview images, Shirtless is brought face to face with the villains behind these brutal attacks, including someone close to his past. That would be Brother Bear, and an action packed battle between the two former brothers seems to be in the offing.
"It certainly looks that way, doesn’t it? I can assure you that the most anticipated bear-fight in history WILL go down in all its epic glory," LeHeup said. "Whether that’s in issue 3? You’ll have to wait and see… I can tell you though that when it does happen, it’s going to be A THING. Nil’s pages and they are just mind-blowing. One of the best fights I’ve ever seen in a comic book."
Hit the next slide to find out what that whole "Golden Toilet" thing is all about!
Shirtless is an expert Bear-Fighter of course, but he does have to worry about human threats as well. That includes his archnemesis Logger, and he makes an unfortunate impression on readers in issue #3.
As you can see in the image below, Logger looks to make a point to Shirtless, who is now in his custody. It gives the reader the perfect summation of just who this villain is according to LeHeup.
"In that scene, SBF finds himself in the clutches of evil Fuzzy Wipes toilet paper tycoon Jaxson Logger who is just so much fun to write," LeHeup said. "I can’t tell you what exactly he’s saying to Shirtless there but let’s just say he’s adding some serious insult to injury as he explains to Shirtless just how %#$@ed he is, Bond-villain style. But just the fact that he owns a golden toilet is enough to hate that guy. Logger is the worst in the best way."
Hit the next slide for what LeHeup loves most about Shirtless!
There's plenty to love about Shirtless. Crazy action, humor, and a wonderful art style all stand out as highlights. For LeHeup though, it comes down to three specific things.
"For me there are three most fun aspects to working on SBF," he said. "The first is brainstorming insane story ideas with my brilliant writing partner Sebastian Girner. We have a really great time coming up with plot points and different gags and as you can imagine."
"The second is getting pages in from our outstanding collaborators on the art side," LeHeup continued. "Whether it’s Nil’s animated lines, or Mike Spicer’s lush coloring, or Dave Lanphear’s lettering flourishes...seeing all our crazy ideas elevated and brought to life on the page is such a joy."
As for the third highlight, that all comes down to the fans.
"Then the third most fun aspect is seeing SBF in fans’ hands," he concluded. "Seeing their reaction to the book and on social media has just been an amazing experience. And we’re just getting started! Lots more coming their way."
Hit the next slide to get all the details on Shirtless Bear-Fighter #3!
Shirtless Bear-Fighter! #3 is written by Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner with art by Mike Spicer and Nil Vendrell and a cover by Andrew Robinson. The official description is located below.
The mighty Shirtless is in the clutches of Fuzzy Wipes(TM) CEO Jaxson Logger, and it's up to rogue FBI agent Suzie Silva to bust him out! Don't miss bear-brawls, golden toilets, and…BETRAYAL in SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER #3!
Shirtless Bear-Fighter! #3 is in stores on August 23rd, 2017.
MORE COMICS: Batman: The Red Death And Batman: The Murder Machine First Look Covers Released / Dan DiDio & Jim Lee Say There's Nothing Like Mister Miracle On The Shelves / 7 Things We Learned About Terry Moore's Strangers In Paradise Revival