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HARD STYLE JUICE #3 – LIFE AFTER A DEATH (MATCH)

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HARD STYLE JUICE #3 by Clay McCormack, Ricardo López-Ortiz, Heather Moore, DC Hopkins, and Jasmine Amiri (Comixology Originals)

Welcome to an all-new edition of Parlay Points!

For this entry, the mystery of Rey Castro’s death continues to lock readers in. His sister Mona is determined to solve the case. A big gamble is taken at the end of last issue. Will it pay off or is the show over before it began?

HARD STYLE JUICE #3 by Clay McCormack, Ricardo López-Ortiz, Heather Moore, DC Hopkins, and Jasmine Amiri (Comixology Originals) looks to take things into the dangerous world of Deathmatch Wrestling!

Let’s take a closer look ringside at all the action!

*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***

Ramonita “Mona” Castro is a risk taker. Going into the family business of pro wrestling isn’t easy. Choosing that path to solve who killed her brother is a whole other story.

Last issue, Mona chose to challenge Gianni Thunders (a possible suspect) “to a f&^%$#!g DEATH MATCH!”* CREDIT: Emil Jay (GCW Announcer). After starting with a sequence with Mona confronting “Burly Bill”, the action gets rolling.

Mona is ready for the challenge as Gianni isn’t taking her too seriously. One head chair shot changes things quickly. If readers are not used to the deathmatch style, they will become familiar quick. The search for answers drives Mona to cross some lines. When the pinfall happens, there is no turning back.

READ LAST ISSUE’S REVIEW

Mona is forced to pivot directions in the bloody aftermath. With little options left, Mona appears to have one last place to go. Upon arrival, trouble finds her very quickly. Judging by the final page, a heartbreaking break may have happened…but at what cost?

McCormack brings out the pent-up frustration and anger building in the first few chapter in Mona’s match. Going into business for herself, Mona transforms into a vengeful combatant. The writing never steers away from the rage fueling her actions. Its’ fallout strikes a cord with her dad for many reasons.

Knowing what she’s done to the business itself is costly. Losing her to the path of revenge is another loss. King Castro comes across more of a businessman than father in this chapter. the lack of compassion leads Mona into a new combustible path. Pacing leads her and the audience into a confrontation of truth she may not be ready for. It’s a solid build that lights the match for an unescapable finale.

DUCK AND COVER!

One thing to keep in mind, Deathmatch Wrestling is an acquired taste for fans. López-Ortiz and Moore present the style in a very accessible and pleasing way. The match between Mona and Gianni holds nothing back. It brings out the best and brutal side of the genre. With a half panel introducing the weapons, the tone switches to an ultra-violent manner with the art. It mirrors Mona’s rage as she shakes down Gianni for answers.

The emotional ride is one that readers will be locked in for. Post-match, there is a range of reactions Mona goes through. The art features them in a manner that takes the story out of the ring and back to where it all began: at home. The closing moments drift into some areas before crashing back to Earth with a final panel that screams volumes with little words. Another amazing job on the visuals.

FINAL POINT: 8.8

Mona’s quest for vengeance leads her into a familiar and dangerous realm. McCormack’s writing brings out the pain through the violent backdrop. López-Ortiz, Moore and Hopkins spotlight the depths of Mona’s pain as the incredible art will make readers want to pull up a ringside seat for what happens here. This story needs to be in your collections ASAP.

Hit me up on ODPHpod social media and let me know your thoughts on Hard Style Juice #3. Thanks for reading Parlay points on Nerd Initiative!

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Ken M.
Ken M.https://odphpodcast.com/
Executive Producer/Host of the ODPH (Ocho Duro Parlay Hour) Podcast. Ken is also Nerd Initiative's Comics Editor-In-Chief/Brand Advisor and host of "Turn A Page". Ken is also a freelance Pro Wrestling Blogger and an all around fan of Sports, Movies Tv, Comics and Pro Wrestling

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