Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman is one of the more interesting comics I have read. It feels like Jack Kirby and Edgar Rice Burroughs had a love child, and that love child was awesome. The premise is normal enough. Bigfoot is a great fighter on Mars (think Conan the Barbarian) who battles to escape enslavement by the evil so-and-so who is ruling one section of the red planet. The civilization and creatures felt like old-school Jack Kirby to me (admittedly as the guy who has read like four Silver Age comics), and the sense of adventure and clearly deliberate ignoring of science in this science fiction story felt very Burroughs. The result is silly, odd, and fun.
Now, as far as the story goes, there was much more attention spent on world building than character exploration. This is why I have no idea when this story takes place or how Bigfoot got to Mars. One limitation of the book is that Bigfoot doesn’t speak. This has the unusual effect of making the Martian that he befriends the most approachable character. This isn’t really a problem, but it is a limitation that John Carter didn’t seem to run into.
The plot is pretty standard stuff, but the setting is awesomely bizarre. The setting feels like Northern Africa through a filter of hard drugs and soft science fiction. I loved it. I could talk about my favorite bit near the end, but it is built up as a little surprise, and my editor would kill me if I spoiled the moment. I guess I should just say that even during the parts where I knew exactly where the story was going, I was surprised by the fantastical setting.
I guess that it is now time for the wrap-up. I thought the plot and characters were decent, but never adequately unique or explored. The art was good and did a great job of showing off the weird in this story. So far, that sounds like this is a halfway decent book, but I really enjoyed it. The thing is there are some of you who will fixate on the fact that the characters are flat-ish and the plot is formulaic-ish, but there are lots of you who will freak out when you read this, because this is a book about Bigfoot doing a Conan impersonation on freaking Mars. That about sums it up for me. Despite its flaws, this book has more heart than Rocky and more weirdness than Bullwinkle. Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman is available now in select comic shops, and it can be ordered online at www.bigfootcomic.com.
Four Cryptozoological Warriors out of Five.