Every MMA fan out there knows names like Georges St-Pierre, Brock Lesnar and Anderson Silva. But for every champion or UFC legend, there are literally hundreds of fighters all over the world that aspire to get to that level, but struggle, scratch and claw to try and reach the top, but never do.
MMA is filled with stories of fighters who work hard to make their way to the ‘big show’, but everyone has to start somewhere and that somewhere is generally a smaller gym and trying to find footing in a regional promotion.
That’s where G4′s Blair Butler sets her new MMA comic opus ‘Heart’, which hits stores on Nov. 2, tells the story of Oren ‘Rooster’ Redmond, a young up and comer who is trying to find out just exactly where he fits in the world of mixed martial arts.
Issue 1 of ‘Heart’ is like a lot of first edition comic books where it tells a bit of the back story of the lead character, while fleshing out some of the other secondary characters in the book.
What Butler does very well in the first issue of ‘Heart’ is show a very human and emotional side of what MMA is actually all about. It’s not always big paydays and knockout victories.
In her much smaller story, Butler focuses around Redmond’s trials and tribulations to try and not only learn how to do MMA, but what happens with a game plan goes horribly wrong.
Redmond faces that harsh reality in the opening pages of ‘Heart’ and without giving away too much to the story, it’s not pretty. It’s clear reading ‘Heart’ that Butler has not only been a fan of the sport, but understands many of the nuances that most people only see if you spend some significant time around the sport and its athletes.
Butler describes the book as “where dreams and reality kind of run into each other” and that may be the best way to put the comic into words.
‘Heart’ is a book worth picking up for any MMA fan or any comic fan, but you don’t necessarily have to be both to enjoy what Butler and artist Kevin Mellon have put together in this new release from Image Comics.
Prior to the book being released, MMAWeekly.com caught up with Blair Butler at the world famous San Diego Comic Con to talk about ‘Heart’ and the crossover from the comic book world to mixed martial arts.