(Image Comics, 2015)
Written by Eric Powell and Tim Wiesch
Art by Eric Powell
Big Man Plans is a comic that is not for the weak of heart, innocent, or those generally stuck in the bubble gum and rainbows mindset. For those of us who’ve ever felt jaded, slighted or alienated by world, this is a MUST read. Powell and Wiesch manage to make you feel sorry for the titular character (Big Man) and despise him at the same time. One minute you are applauding his dry, fed up attitude and jokes, only to be taken aback by the extremes he goes to in his need for revenge.
Big Man Plans is centered around a mysterious little person who is only referred to as “Big Man” or multiple slurs against his condition. To say Big Man has had a rough life would be like saying the titanic sprung a small leak. From his mother despising him to locals snickering under their breath to being beaten by other children in foster homes. Having nothing left in life after the death of his father Big Man manages to enroll in a top-secret military unit in Vietnam. So his life is looking up. Right? Wrong, very wrong. Used for his stature and attitude he finds himself doing the most ultra violent dirty work, which he seems to look back on with a desensitized pride and delight. After his unit is decommissioned his life spirals into a blur of violence, sex, drugs and even more callousness. Called to action by a mysterious letter, big man sets out on an ultra violent mission and believe me it’s brutal.
This 4 part mini series is a departure in tone from Powell’s fan favorite series The Goon. Big Man Plans is a very violent and dark tale, a pure grind house-esque ride into the depths of anger and ruthlessness. The book isn’t without humor though, I found myself laughing at the over the top situations and narration from Big Man himself. The artwork is the kind we love from Powell, pencil shaded and gorgeously drawn, all while bringing the grind house washed color pallet to our eyes. I can easily see this being played on an old theater screen complete with bad split cuts and burns in the film. Nudity, foul language absurd violence and over the top situations found in any grind house film are present, and honestly what more could you want? A grenade being used in the first 3 pages of a book is generally a good sign as to what is about to follow, though, even that won’t prepare you for this. All in all this is a fun read that had me hooked and eagerly waiting to see what more Big Man can do in the remaining 3 issues. I have a feeling it’s going to be even more over the top than I can predict. Do yourself a favor and snatch up a copy of this book. You wouldn’t wanna make Big Man mad, would you?
Reviewed by Lewis Lane