REVIEW: “Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman” #4

(Brewhouse Comics, 2013)

Review by Cory Thrall

WRITTEN BY:  Josh S. Henaman
ARTWORK BY:  Andy Taylor
COLOR ARTWORK BY:  Thomas Bonvillain

By now, if you haven’t heard or seen anything concerning this comic then you just might not be looking in the right places.  Over the course of the first four issues of “Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman” writer Josh Henaman has been making the rounds from convention panels, interviews, and a number of reviews from some very notable and high quality websites.  Much like the hero in this epic, Josh’s name and this book have become somewhat of a legend in the small press world.  This is due, in a large part, to how great this title is, and how the love and excitement the creative team pours into each issue takes the reader along for the experience.

If you haven’t read the first three issues of this title, I strongly suggest you either visit the site and order them directly from the team (www.bigfootcomic.com), or look to your local comic shop.  If they don’t carry it, tell them they should, as this has quite a range of genres mixed into a sci-fi/mystical/fantasy story that even the most diehard Big Two follower would appreciate.  But, on to issue #4, shall we?

Since we last left, Castor and the Earthman had been separated, and a great evil has been growing, waiting to make its full presence known.  We open on #4, with the Great Uniter in talks with the Great Hunter Korovan, who have at this point lost all scent of the Earthman.  After a bit of expressed disappointment, the Great Uniter sends Korovan out once again to find our Bigfoot hero and crush him, though the Earthman had left them behind, escaping into the greatly feared Turonian Jungles – a place where only Death lives and is full of all kinds of evils and danger.  Castor, alone without his Earthman ‘friend’, is lost within the Jungle itself, and chops and digs his way to a clear path.

What really stands out to me with this issue is the focus on Castor.  He has been the narrator so far in the series, and having nearly an entire issue devoted to him, his thoughts, and adventures really makes for a great character piece.  As he is saved from a giant beast and then captured by the band of poachers who had saved him, we learn a bit more about the ‘Bagworm’ culture and their love of money and trickery above all else and how Castor feels about this.  In a nice reflection of this, the poachers plan on selling him to one of two interested parties – Mara and Lord Jeoffa.  Being torn between wanting to trick or bribe his way to escape and getting paid to flee with a new found friend – a blind ‘witch’ with her eyes creepily sewn shut – he chooses the latter.  The conversation Castor has with himself during his wheeling & dealing with this woman is hilarious and perfectly timed in his responses and reactions.  Again, the inner-monologue and narration by Castor is a strong point to this, and really opens the character to the reader, giving a much richer understanding of his choices and motivations.

From this point in the book we begin to slowly get the pieces of the secrets behind the story, and they unravel at a speed that feels natural and well thought out by writer Henaman.  In my usual want to leave the full experience to the reader, I won’t go into much detail.  To be honest, if you’re currently reading this title or even just curious you’ll want to read this in the order it is presented.  There is mystery and trickery, and even some magic and full reveals.  The end result rounds the story out so well that it really is an exciting aspect of the story.  Things are followed through that began with the very first issue, we get explanations on the reasons for the Earthman’s arrival on the planet, and even more is set into motion to be explored later.  The writing is top notch here, and Henaman has created quite the layered adventure.  His work shines in this issue, from the dialogue between characters, the wonderful inner thoughts of Castor, and the overall flow of the comic.

The line art here is once again handled by the very talented Andy Taylor, as well as the color art, and this is another strong point throughout the series that has grown in leaps and bounds since the series began.  The work here is the quality readers have been used to, but in a way it’s almost like a totally different take.  The artwork here is such an improvement on what was already consistently awesome work that it’s both exciting and mind blowing all at once.  The creatures here are larger than life and rendered perfectly, and the variance in character design – whether it be main characters or faces in a crowd – has been expanded to such an imaginative degree that I loved sneaking my eyes through each detail and panel.  It’s just an all around plus in this issue, and I am very happy to see such wonderful artists get better and better at their craft.  It’s just fun and a treat beyond explanation.

So, when it comes down to it, this has been one hell of a series, and one I look forward to with each release.  This fourth issue shows so much growth within this title that all of my past thoughts on how well this creative team with fare with other works is multiplied by a million.  Or a billion.  This comic has been a blast from the beginning, and issue four cements this as one of my favorite independent comics out there.  Please, do yourself a huge favor and get these books!  Visit the site and give these growing comic stars your love.  Lord willing, Bigfoot himself might show up on your doorstep to thank you!  If he does, get his autograph, as I’ve heard he’s quite elusive!

For the team here at Bag & Bored, I give “Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman” #4 an enthusiastic “BAG IT!”.  Such a great series.

___________________________

Follow Cory Thrall on Twitter:  @FeralFang27

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