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The Five Fists Of Science

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  993 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
True story: in 1899, Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla decided to end war forever. With Twain's connections and Tesla's inventions, they went into business selling world peace. So, what happened? Only now can the tale be told - in which Twain and Tesla collided with Edison and Morgan, an evil science cabal merging the Black Arts and the Industrial Age. Turn of the century New Yo ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by Image Comics, Inc. (first published May 31st 2006)
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Jul 29, 2007 Brad rated it really liked it
As a good, inquisitive American boy, I had a great love of Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb, the wizard of Menlo Park. The older I get, the more unsavory details I learn about him—his patent disputes, his dealings with early moviemakers. Last year, I visited the Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, Serbia, and learned about their dispute over AC and DC (the current, not the band). Tesla’s AC was much safer than Edison’s DC, yet Edison, due in part to smear tactic, won out.
The introduction to
Jan 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Brown
Feb 10, 2009 Emily Brown rated it did not like it
i like science...and this comic was dull. and at times made no sense because the illustration was vague and tried to imply what was going on.
Steampunky adventures with Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla! This was fun, if not very complex or deep. Poor awkward, nervous, brilliant, neurotic Tesla--my favorite parts were anytime he was on stage. Since we seem to have everyone from Jane Austen to Abraham Lincoln to Oscar Wilde to Queen Victoria fighting crime/vampires/zombies these days, can't we get Tesla in on more of that action?
Jan 19, 2013 Grace rated it it was amazing
This short graphic novel is fun, sciency and awesome. Tesla is a "mad scientist" that creates a machine capable of destroying a great deal. Mark Twain markets it as a "peace machine". When there is a lack of buyers for this, Twain convinces Telsa to market it with stage showmanship. Hilarity ensues.

The plot thickens when some evil geniuses make a tower to summon black magic, and their leader is none other than Tomas Edison. Pod people, giant roots, and Leviathan tear up a bit of New York City.
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
Nov 27, 2010 Jean-Pierre Vidrine rated it liked it
Comics featuring actual historic figures in extraordinary circumstances are always intriguing to one degree or another. The team-up of Twain and Tesla was certainly one that I would never of thought of, but the writer made it work. The creative team admit freely to have taken extreme liberties with some of the historic characters to fit the story they wanted to tell. Similarities to other tales that build up to a big ending and Lovecraftian supernatural things that, for me, didn't quite mix, are ...more
May 19, 2011 Kayleigh rated it liked it
The Five Fists of Science infuses fun, science, mad characters and giant robots to create an extremely enjoyable steampunk-ish graphic novel. The creators, Fraction and Sanders, appropriate some well-known members of the Scientific, creative and political scenes to act out their wild tale that is only slightly based in fact. On the good side you have Mark Twain, the fast-talking, money hungry writer/salesman and Nikolai Tesla, the shy and quite scientific genius with OCD and Bertha Von Suttner, ...more
May 31, 2011 Jace rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
Given the premise of this book, I had high expectations for a historical-fantasy adventure. But this turned out to be an unfortunate example of a great concept ruined by poor execution. The basic premise is this: a group of inventors and industrialists (Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, etc) have begun to dabble in the dark arts and are planning to summon a Lovecraftian horror to devour New York City. (I have no idea why--the reader is given no insight into their actions.) Nikola Tesl ...more
David Schwan
Jan 19, 2013 David Schwan rated it liked it
Tesla and Mark Twain as a pair of down on their luck entrepeneurs devise a scheme to make some money. What they don't know is that Edison and the banker Morgan have evil plans afoot. The two groups and their plots meet with interesting results. The story is left in place where there could be future books.
May 26, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Tesla and Mark Twain use science to defeat Edison and JP Morgan, who are summoning demons to do their evil bidding. It's basically awesome.
Jan 26, 2013 Jonathan rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The Five Fists of Science reminds me of Jonathan Hickman's more recent comic Manhattan Projects. It takes famous figures from American history and it weaves them into a crazy science-fiction story. I loved the concept and characters, but the slower pacing and the darker art style kept me from giving it 5 stars.
Matt Mitrovich
Jan 27, 2013 Matt Mitrovich rated it really liked it
One of the conundrums of alternate history is how does one balance the "rule of cool" with the demands for plausibility. Often when the author throws plausibility out the window it can hurt the story. Yet there are times when an author fully embraces alien space bats plot device and creates something extraordinary.

The Five Fists of Science is a steampunk graphic novel created by writer Matt Fraction and artist Steven Sanders. The novel follows a crime-fighting Nikola Tesla, a broke Mark Twain an
Apr 24, 2013 Bruce rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: steampunk fans
If you only have time to read one retconned-history steampunk graphic novel, read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. That one at least will introduce you to a cleverly multilayered pastiche of characters from period pulp and pop fiction. By contrast, FFoS takes similar conceptual liberties using real historical figures, a good satiric idea wholly undermined by the intrusion of Cthulhu-styled black magic.

Oh, well. I grabbed this from the library for a camping trip companion, thinking it would
Oct 10, 2016 Alejandro rated it it was amazing
Wonderful reading!!!

Creative Team:

Writer: Matt Fraction

Illustrator: Steven Sanders


I read this book the very same day that I bought it (back then, on June, 2013).

I loved it!!!

It was a fun graphic novel to read. It seems that not much people know about this graphic novel and it is a shame since it's quite good.

The creative team of Matt Fraction, as writer, and Steven Sanders, as illustrator, is remarkable since they understand each other in how to present the s
Dec 19, 2013 Sem rated it did not like it
Shelves: sequential-art
Instantly forgettable. Given the subject matter and the characters, that's quite an achievement.
Apr 16, 2014 Tom rated it did not like it
Ben Folds once stated "Sometimes you'll love the cover and that's precisely why you'll love the book." Sadly, this was not the case here. The notion of a graphic novel detailing Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain's creation of a giant fighting robot to bring about world peace through mutually assured destruction was interesting. Add in Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan, and other prominent financiers dabbling in black magic in an effort to control the world. How could it possibly go wrong? Apparently in every ...more
Matt Bromagin
Oct 11, 2014 Matt Bromagin rated it it was ok
I was kinda disappointed with this. I expected a lot more out of Fraction. Fraction made me like The Punisher and I HATED The Punisher. There was so much crazy over so few pages. The concept is a little tired. It's yet another piece of media that's jumped on the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter train. Tesla and Mark Twain team up to take down JP Morgan and Thomas Edison. Apparently Edison and Morgan worship Cthulhu...I don't know. There's a Yeti in there too. I feel like Fraction just said "Hey, ...more
Basically, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 with real turn-of-the-century movers and shakers and less intriguing art. Twain and Tesla team up to force peace upon the world with a giant robot. I think JP Morgan got turned into something nasty, but that bit was confusing. There's a yeti, too. Oh and Edison and Marconi and Carnegie and Baroness von Suttner (?new to me...). In theory, excellent. In actuality, somewhat hard to follow given the ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
The mental powers of Tesla combined with the wit and spin of Mark Twain equals a fun, campy adventure with steampunk and some themes of Cthulu. *Now* we know why J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie were so powerful, and Matt Fraction will have you know it's not just from their sunny dispositions. The narrative pacing of this story is irregular, and it can be a little jarring at first--the pages and panels jump around from scene to scene and if you aren't paying close attention, it's easy to get lost ...more
John Defrog
Jul 21, 2015 John Defrog rated it it was ok
Matt Fraction’s alt.history steampunk tale in which Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla hatch a plan to promote world peace by starting an arms technology race with giant automatons, while J.P. Morgan and Thomas Edison and hatch their own plan to release ancient horrors via dark magic and Guglielmo Marconi’s radio technology. It’s been unfairly compared to The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen – apart from the general time period and the technology, there’s not much resemblance (for one thing, LXG assem ...more
Nicolo Yu
Mar 17, 2015 Nicolo Yu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comixology
This was one of several digital books I bought for my birthday and only getting to read them now. There was a Matt Fraction Comixology sale so I got a couple of them.

Five Fists of Science sounds like a Jonathan Hickman book, with alternate timelines and speculative fiction thrown into the mix but with the trademark Matt Fraction humor. Granted, it's an early Fraction work but several story beats that he utilizes are already in the work.

Steven Sanders is an indie superstar. I wonder when he's goi
I really wanted to like this a lot. I really did. I loved the premise and I enjoy Matt Fraction's other works. Unfortunately this just didn't do it for me.

The premise was great and it had its moments, I can't completely dislike it or anything. I just found the writing to be a bit loose and the art to be a bit dark. By dark I don't mean "creepy" (I like that), I mean literally dark, I found myself squinting to even tell what was going on. Between the hard to see images and the only okay-ish writ
Apr 14, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok
A problem of high expectations here. Matt Fraction takes Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, and several others to fight against Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan and others. Why? Because the latter group has decided to summon some Lovecraftian hell beasts for reasons that never actually explained. Tesla and Twain build a giant robot to combat this threat.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for mindless action with little or no reasons behind it but this just didn't do it for me. Aside from odd witticism from Twain no o
Aug 25, 2015 Michel rated it it was ok
Misschien dat ik nog altijd kwaad was wegens True Brit, maar ik vond hier ook niet echt veel aan.

Concept: steampunk (zucht, ondertussen eigenlijk toch wel). Mark Twain en Nikola Tesla vatten het plan op om wereldvrede te bewerkstelligen door aan alle grootmachten van het moment superwapens (in casu een reuzengrote robot) te verkopen. De slechteriken van dienst zijn J.P. Morgan, Edison en Carnegie. Jawel: wetenschappers versus kapitaal-en-occultisme, geeuw.

Oh ja: Bertha von Süttner wordt wat opge
Lucas Brown
Sep 19, 2015 Lucas Brown rated it it was ok
A vigilante Nicole Tesla & Mark Twain fight Lovecraftian black magicians and venture capitalists using giant mechs and carnival flimflam.

Sounds awesome, right? And it is. But it's completely let down by muddy, dark art that makes it difficult to see what's going on, a rushed pace that leaves no time for explanation, and character designs that are hard to tell apart (apart from the title pair).

Shame. It should have worked.
Angela Blount
Nov 03, 2015 Angela Blount rated it liked it

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets the wrong side of Hellboy in this steampunky twist on historical fiction.

I’ll admit that, in this reader’s mind, the premise alone started things out on a 5-Star note. Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain—real life friends and historical dynamos of brilliance in their own distinct ways, joining their forces of guile and wit in the name of world peace? Bring it.

This graphic novel starts out strong with a curious setup spanning multiple continents, and a dose of
Read this a few weeks ago, can remember some of it quite well, but ultimately a little light entertainment: Twain wants peace and disarmament and also a paycheck; and he figures out one way to ensure peace is to sell Tesla's giant fighting robots to several governments. Only no one wants to buy, so Twain and Tesla start a hoax, with the giant robot fighting some monster.

Only Carnegie and JP Morgan and a bunch of other scientists are all dark wizards and Cthulhu cultists and there's a giant monst
Sep 21, 2016 Steven rated it it was ok
Honestly I was hoping for more when I started reading it. Turning Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla into Steampunk superheroes seems like an awesome idea, but it just fell flat due to poor writing and generic artwork. Twain and Tesla stood out a bit, but everyone else from villains to background characters all looked the same. The writing was disjointed and seemed to be all over the place, the plot would jump at weird times an the Baronesses was the most redeeming character but hardly got any time to ...more
Nick Diegel
Oct 17, 2016 Nick Diegel rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
Picked it up because it was by Matt Fraction. Must have still been finding his footing. Did not like.
Fraser Sherman
Oct 19, 2016 Fraser Sherman rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Twenty years ago this would have been outrageous and awesome. But these days, having Tesla, Edison, Mark Twain and others involved in a)fighting for world peace and b)fighting to stop Andrew Carnegie from unleashing Lovecraft's old ones is just par for the course. And while Twain is fun, the rest of the book is kind of ho-hum. And frankly I don't really buy into Tesla idolatry—I suspect a lot of it is that because he didn't build most of the things he talked about, we can fantasize him into what ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #21 The Five Fists of Science by Matt Fraction 1 1 Mar 08, 2015 08:39PM  
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"How he got started in comics: In 1983, when Fraction was 7 years old and growing up in Kansas City, Mo., he became fascinated by the U.S. invasion of Grenada and created his own newspaper to explain the event. "I've always been story-driven, telling stories with pictures and words," he said.

Education and first job: Fraction never graduated from college. He stopped half a semester short of an art
More about Matt Fraction...

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