Men in Tights Reviews: The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit #1

by Ian McDonald

Bruno the Bandit is a barbarian, a thief, a scoundrel, and an accidental comedian who often ends up playing the role of his own straight man.

This title isn’t so much your standard comic book as it is a collection of four-panel, black-and-white comic strips. Unlike some strip collections, though, Ian McDonald manages to tell a gapless story (or, rather, several consecutive stories) without the jarring move that sometimes comes from one strip to another. It is an anthology of short stories each featuring the decidedly amoral marauder Bruno, who, in the words of this book’s very own introduction, “takes the archetypes of Medieval gallantry and assaults them in a dark alley and steals their lunch money”.

As you can probably tell, humor is the centerpiece of the story here, and it is definitely secondary to the action side of the book throughout. The most succinct summary I can give of this book is — imagine if Mel Brooks and the Monty Python troupe teamed up to make a Conan movie, only better, funnier, and cooler.

Bruno’s world is one that is simultaneously set in the middle ages, while also bringing us a very modern dose of televisions and run-around-giving secretaries. As our title character hacks and steals his way through it, he is followed every step of the way by his annoying, if sometimes helpful, microdragon sidekick Fiona.

If you like comics that are good, you should check it out.

IN TWO WEEKS: I will actually, finally review THE STANDARD #2. I had really meant to do it this week, but a nice case of influenza has my brain down for the count.


About the Author

Evan Henry is an editor, writer, and letterer of comics. He has worked in the field of comics journalism since 2009, writing for sites including and Broken Frontier.