Q: What would you say if I told you that Nikola Tesla teamed up with Mark Twain to fight for World Peace and in the process were forced to battle with Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, Andrew Carnegie, and Lovecraftian cultist JP Morgan?
A: Nothing, because you face would be rocked clean off.
Seriously, The Five Fists of Science is hella fun. I have to admit honestly that often the pacing is not that great. It gets a little jerky, and I found myself occasionally wondering if I missed a page. The writer, Matt Fraction, tries to pull off some sequences with rapid cuts between scenes, and sometimes it falls flat. The art, meanwhile, is consistently beautiful. The worst I can say about the art is that some of the pages are a little too dark to make out the action; most of these take place at, you know, night time, so I can partly forgive that.
Really, though, this is another one of those things that you either know you’re going to love or not just from hearing the premise. If the idea of a steampunk adventure where Nikola Tesla builds and pilots a giant mecha doesn’t appeal to you, then God help you. Don’t buy this book. Otherwise, do. Definitely do.
I leave you with this thought, from the book’s character description of Marconi: “We know of no evidence that proves him the stress-eater we present in these pages, but it was funnier than making him a fascist.” Wisdom for the ages, truly.