The second issue of Hard Style Juice, the pro-wrestling family crime drama 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) arrives May 14, from Amazon’s Comixology Originals exclusive digital content line, and Slam received an exclusive preview. 

Picking up from where issue one left off (spoilers ahead), Rey Castro, “King of the Death Match,” has died under suspicious circumstances due to an in-ring accident, and KCPW has fallen on hard times, so in a desperate attempt to bring fans back to the show, Rey’s little sister, Ramonita Castro, has offered to step into the ring. 

Cut to one year later, Ramonita has transformed into the “Queen of the Death Match,” Kris Castro, and KCPW is back on its feet. That’s when a face from the past makes his KCPW return. Johnny Thunders, who was scheduled to wrestler Rey Castro the night of his death, and now has a big time contract under his belt, comes back to KCPW for one more appearance, and Ramonita talks her way into the match, but while Thunders simply expects Ramonita to eat the pin, Kris Castro has another idea, cutting a surprise promo on Thunders, and challenges him to a death match. 

This is another solid issue of Hard Style Juice, and after the world building and tragic in-ring “accident” in issue one, I think the series has improved with this latest issue, and the characters, especially Ramonita/Kris Castro, feel more alive. López-Ortiz’s illustrations and Heather Moore’s colors remain strong. Covers are always a big selling point for me, as well, and Oritz’s cover, featuring the masked Kris Castro, is particularly striking this time.

I look forward to Johnny Thunders and Kris Castro’s death match in issue three of Hard Style Juice, but before that, check out an exclusive preview of Hard Style Juice #2 below, then pre-order your copy on Amazon.

Hard Style Juice #2 COVER

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