A review copy of the first issue of Hard Style Juice!, a new comic book series from writer Clay McCormack (Batman White Knight Presents: Red Hood, Redline, Poser) and artist Ricardo López-Ortiz (The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1, Black Panther vs Deadpool), recently arrived in my eager hands. 

The first issue of Hard Style Juice! revolves around the Castro family. “King” Castro is the father, and also the owner of the local independent wrestling promotion KCPW, Ramonita Castro is the spunky, young daughter, and Ramonita’s brother, Rey Castro, is the star of the promotion, known as the “King of the Death Match.”

Issue one is mainly dedicated to character introductions and world building, before it concludes with a shocking in-ring death, the catalyst for the issues to follow.

There’s quite a lot to like about the first issue of Hard Style Juice!, but there’s some familiar story beats, such as the tragic first issue in-ring death, if you’ve read other recent pro wrestling comic books, like The Gimmick and Do a Power Bomb!

“Pro wrestling and comic books have always felt like two sides of the same coin for me, so combining the two was a no-brainer,” says writer Clay McCormack in a press release. “Hard Style Juice! is a crime drama, but instead of organized crime the family is dedicated to the glitz and spectacle of professional wrestling.”

Also, the pages really look great. I love the neon and pastel colors, credited to Heather Moore, and the sharp illustrations by Ricardo López-Ortiz seem to take inspiration from Sean Phillips and manga.

Hard Style Juice! is the underdog sports story I’ve always wanted to tell,” artist Ricardo López-Ortiz said in a press release. “I’m bringing all the high-octane energy and fluid motion you’d expect from a comic with the title Hard Style Juice!

Check out a preview of Hard Style Juice! below, then read the rest of this five-part Comixology Originals series at no additional cost for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and Comixology Unlimited, or you can purchase the issue for Kindle or comiXology on Amazon.

Hard Style Juice #1 COVER

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