Review: Bigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman #1-4
Today we have a review for a wild creator-owned series called Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman. It was described to me as a “sword, sorcery, and sasquatch epic” that sees the elusive creature brought to Mars by a mysterious group called the Children of the Blue to help stop the dictatorial Lord Jeoffa. The series is written by Josh S. Henaman. Andy Taylor provides line art and Thomas Bonvillain handles colors. The series is scheduled to be a six-issue miniseries. The fourth installment comes out August 14th. So how does the first four parts of Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman measure up?
The first issue opens with a majestic looking Bigfoot decked out in battle gear looking over the red planet. The best of legend is setting in quiet contemplation. He seems content, but a tear wells up in his giant brown eyes. We then cut to the past. We see an alien work camp where various oddly looking creatures are working on monuments and moving supplies around. Bigfoot has been thrown into the camp. One of his fellow prisoners is an alien named Castor. He is a member of the Scribe Caste, the poets and bards of the red planet. Castor is a fast-talking con man who spreads rumors and causes dissent for whatever purposes the highest bidder desires. It’s easy to see why he’s in the work camp. He serves as our stories narrator since Bigfoot is the strong, silent type. He sees Bigfoot as a means to escape, and he forms a friendship (and I use that term loosely) with Bigfoot and waits for his opportunity to escape. Obviously the duo escape. They go on the run from the villainous Lord Jeoffa all the while being chased by his enforcer, the red lizard brute known as Korovan Muspin. Castor and Bigfoot run across Mars, running into vicious bugs, Queen’s guards who keep the Beacon lit to deal with the giant bugs, moth-vampires of legend, poachers, and thieves. The big sprawling sword and sorcery epic has our two characters trying to survive new threats at every turn. While Bigfoot uses his fists and superior strength at every turn, all he really wants is to be left alone. He’s not too concerned about how he got to Mars and why he’s been plucked from earth, but Castor would like to learn a little about his new ally. Why is Bigfoot on Mars? Who are the real bad guys in Mars’ endless war? Will Castor pull of the con of a lifetime?
Henaman writes a truly astounding story. The concept of “Bigfoot goes to Mars” could have easily been very cheesy, but he turns it into something with the scale of Conan the Barbarian, John Carter, or World War Hulk. Those are three impressive stories on their own, but Henaman takes influences from those and makes something that feels slightly familiar but entirely unique. I mean how many stories feature Bigfoot fighting aliens and traveling through huge, expansive Edgar Rice Burrough-esque landscapes? Andy Taylor’s art is utterly amazing. The first issue is near flawless, but he evolves and tweaks his style with each issue. By #4 he has added some amazing flourishes to the panels and the story as a whole. He creates an impressive world full of odd and beautiful creatures and people. You’re thrown into this world and answers come later, but Henaman and Taylor make it feel real and completely natural. After a few pages, you’re pulled into this world entirely. You don’t understand the world’s structure entirely, but you understand what is happening and can piece together what the special language and turns of phrase means. Bonvillain’s colors are bright and lively. He makes each character and location distinct and pop off of the page.
Bottom Line: This is one of the most impressive creator-owned series I’ve read in a while. It’s a great comic compared to a lot of things from the big publishers, but to have a better than professional level of writing, art, and color on an independent work is rare. Pick up this series and check it out. If you love John Carter, Conan the Barbarian, World War Hulk, Prince Valiant or anything in that vein I guarantee you will love this. 5/5