6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton

The Goggler Pull List #15: 6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton and Mister Miracle

Dept. of Comic Book Compulsions

On this week’s edition of The Goggler Pull List, we review and recommend a brand new series from Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer called 6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton and Jack Kirby’s classic run on Mister Miracle.

Let’s get into it…

6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton (Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer)

6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton

Kyle Starks’ Sexcastle, his homage to the worst of 1980s revenge action movies, blows through every trope – from mean protagonists, to ridiculous one liners, to over the top action – delivering an incredibly fun and delightfully whimsical send up of the genre. It ranks right up there among some of my favourite reads, so much so that picking up 6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton really was a no-brainer.

If you’re familiar with Sexcastle, then you will have some idea as to what you’re going to get with this comic. Once again, Starks dips into his love of cinema and television to tell the story of Trigger Keaton, a hard as nails Hollywood action star who is also the world’s biggest asshole. He’s burned every bridge with every person he’s ever encountered and is hated by almost everyone, except the studio executives whose pockets he continues to fill. Imagine if Lee Majors or Chuck Norris were complete dicks behind the camera (they weren’t). Picture them as the kind of divas who are nasty to their co-stars, exploitative towards women, glorified their own bad behavior, and you’d have an idea of the kind of person Trigger Keaton is.

Our story begins one morning, when Trigger is found swinging from a beam in his apartment, and six of his former sidekicks come together to solve the mystery of his murder.

6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton

The comic book that follows is full of fantastic comedic action, hilarious one liners, and beautifully observed moments about what it’s like working in an environment that enables the absolute worst instincts in the absolute worst people.

Starks is a fantastic writer. He does so much in just 24 pages. He introduces the titular Trigger and makes us hate him. He then successfully draws six distinct sidekicks, all of whom have their own unique personalities and fair share of Hollywood baggage. He introduces a mystery. He gives us a taste of genre. All the while imbuing it with so many layers of background information, by way of TV Guide style clippings and tabloid headlines, that give us deeper insights into everyone’s extensive backstory.

6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton

Just like he did in Sexcastle, Starks presents us with a group of cunningly crafted characters who appear to be caricatures and cliches, but are, in fact, so much more. Buried beneath all of the jokes and the humour is a work that is genuinely concerned with the humanity of all these individuals and their respective traumas. One that deftly navigates questions of ego, grief, anxiety, and self-denial, while displaying a deep appreciation and affection for the popular culture that its parodying.

Mister Miracle (Jack Kirby)

Mister Miracle

Every once in a while, I revisit the miraculous work of Jack Kirby. These were some of the comics that got me reading. I’d rummage through those bargain bins at the local newsagent and happen upon torn and tattered issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, of The Mighty Thor and Mister Miracle. I didn’t really know who Jack Kirby was at the time, but I was in complete awe at all of the bombast before me. I loved the sheer kinetic energy of his style. I was hooked by his ability to build stories rooted in myth and mystery, but most of all, heart.⁣

Kirby spent his career defining the superhero genre and the medium of comic books, but it’s the work he did with Mister Miracle and The New Gods, it’s the work he did after stepping out of Stan Lee’s shadow, that I think I love the most. Here you have stories and characters that exist at the very edge of the superhero genre. They are mythical. They are biblical. They are both literary and vaudevillian.⁣

If you want to get your young ones into comics, this is some of the best stuff to start with. I mean you’ve got all the circus thrills of nick-of-time escapes from water-filled coffins and dark dreary dungeons, you’ve got that eternal struggle between fathers and sons, all built upon classic archetypes and high concept ideas, complex and contradictory, and bound between some of the most magnificently constructed panels you’ll ever encounter.

P.S. For an insanely intertextual and deeply philosophical meditation on life, death, suicide, love, and fatherhood, you also need to check out the new Mister Miracle limited series (which I’m sure I’ll review in detail at some point) by comicdom’s current wonder boys Tom King and Mitch Gerads. (This one isn’t for kids!) Also read: The New Gods, by Jack Kirby and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon.

We get our comics either from our local comic book store, The Last Comic Shop, or on Comixology. Are you interested in checking out 6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton or Mister Miracle? Have you already read it? Let us know by getting in touch with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Check out our previous installments of The Goggler Pull List here.

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