(Brewhouse Comics, 2013) – Reviewed by Feral Fang
After loving the launch of this title, I was very excited to pop open Issue #2, and I was not disappointed in the least. Following the awesome first issue, this 2nd one picks up with the greatest monologue in the title to date – basically Castor explaining how he sees Bigfoot (or from here on out ‘the Earthman’) as “a warrior, a poet, protector, and lover…”, things he wishes the Earthman could say for himself, were he able to talk. At this point, the Earthman has been bumming around, eating and sleeping on repeat, like an even hairier version of Conan. Castor is anxious to get things moving, and his frustration seems to be near boiling. Eventually, a beaten and bloodied woman finds them and their new crew, giving a warning concerning “the Heart of the Sun”, a long lost jewel with seemingly unlimited power and reach. “The Jewel That Shaped a World”, while also bringing with it death, destruction, and countless wars – all in an attempt to get a hold on the jewel. This sends our main characters and their crew through the hazardous environments and on a ‘sandy’ adventure, riding across the ocean of sand in a craft that excitedly reminded me of the skiffs used in ‘Return of the Jedi’. I was very happy with this issue. I really feel that, where the first issue was an action packed introduction to the world and main characters, this second issue focused a bit more on telling deeper aspects of the story and what’s to come. It was also great to see other characters take the main stage here and there, giving the reader a look into the other types of beings that inhabit Mars. What struck me the most was how much Joshua Henaman’s script and Andy Taylor’s line art has improved since we last saw them. Henaman’s writing is spot on here, with dialogue that flows more conversationally than before and a story that is more complex but also easier to follow. Andy Taylor’s work is as great as before and, while I still see the old school independent comic charm in his work – and I still find it just as loveable as I already had – there is still an awkward panel or two that I felt could have been rendered better, especially having seen what Taylor is capable of. And he’s capable of a lot, from a long list of varied aliens and creatures, to solid action and some really great reaction shots and emotional weight where needed. The coloring by Thomas Bonvillain is much more in the forefront than previously, as his work calls for shades and moods that weren’t found in the first issue, letting Thomas take his colors to new heights. This issue featured more humor and wit – on the same hilarity level as it was in the first issue, but with much more use of it here. The lettering, which is one of the main things I felt suffered the most in the opening issue is better and easier to read in this, but still feels a bit cramped, with some oddly shaped ‘word balloons’ giving one a need to re-read a line or two. None of this hampers the enjoyment of the comic, though, as I think this second issue is a much stronger, tighter comic, and a wonderful new leg for this story to continue to grow on. I think this comic is getting better each issue, which makes me even more excited to read the continuing story. This is definitely a title you’ll want to check out, as the whole package is something I think most comic fans – old and new – would have trouble putting down. Great things are ahead for Brewhouse Comics.
WRITING: 8.5 / 10
ARTWORK: 8 / 10
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 9 / 10