Review: Bigfoot – Sword of the Earthman #1 / Author: Josh Henaman / Artist: Andy Taylor, Thomas Bonvillain / Publisher: Brewhouse Comics / Release Date: Out Now
It's Bigfoot on Mars with a massive sword. That's all you really need to know about Josh Henaman and Andy Taylor's Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman. As high-concept comics go, it's up there with Cowboys vs Aliens (except better) or anything by Mark Millar (except less nasty). Bigfoot on Mars with a Sword would have been just as accurate a title. Or Sasquatch Carter of Mars. Or Bigfoot the Barbarian. The concept is a lot of fun. But does the comic book itself live up to that? Lest we forget, Cowboys vs Aliens was actually unreadable.
Sword of the Earthman puts Sasquatch and his oversized sword on Mars, in a cross between Edgar Rice Burroughs ('savage, brutal, ape-like and mute. Lover of women. Destroyer of men') and Planet Hulk. This first issue lays the groundwork for a promised six-issue miniseries, taking in alien slavers, a dictator and the Bigfoot's enormous blade. The comic opens with Bigfoot in chains, enslaved by an evil alien dictatorship. No-one knows who he is nor how he came to be there. All we do know is that he swings a mean punch and he could do with a shave. It's all very standard sci-fi/fantasy stuff, with Bigfoot eventually throwing off the shackles to rebel against his captors and beat up a few other aliens. No doubt Bigfoot will eventually come to lead an army and overthrow a dictatorship or two also, possibly taking in a harem in the meantime. It follows the sci-fi Sword n' Sandal template unerringly, right down to its OTT narration.
A lack of human characters (no, our furry-footed ancestor doesn't count) makes the comic difficult to get into, leaving the reader without anyone to really care about. The mute, angry Bigfoot is cool, but doesn't really have a personality. Even The Hulk has the good grace to give us a little banter to work with every now and then. Hopefully further issues will give readers something to invest in. As it is, Sword of the Earthman is pretty but unsubstantial. The art by Andy Taylor and Thomas Bonvillain is evocative and vibrant, but it'd be nice to see more imagination to Taylor's designs. It looks like an old Harryhausen film but adds no distinct personality of its own. It's not a bad comic by any means, but Sword of the Earthman feels predictable and mildly lifeless. Hopefully future issues will give their hero a little more to do.
Sword of the Earthman is better than it could have been, but still not as good as it should be. Still, it's Bigfoot on Mars with a bloody great sword. What more do you want from a comic book?