Bold, vibrant colors flow over the pages of this collected trade paperback like a Miami night club. Right away, I was struck by the use of fluorescent colors – hot pink and bright yellow – as well as the creative storyboarding. The images are a blend of pop art and old newspaper clippings, intertwining textures and colors throughout the piece.
Emboldened with an American flag blazing down the side of his truck, Butcher Baker represents a stereotypical Americana machismo who has an anti-feminist perspective. Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker is trying to be an anti-hero piece with a message, but the message gets lost amongst the sexual content.
Initially, Butcher Baker is approached by a politician and the comedian Jay Leno to destroy a prison that incarcerates superheroes and people with unique powers due to the costs to house them in prison. It is alluded to that Butcher is in retirement from the hero business at the time. In the opening, the hero is surrounded with half-naked women performing sexual acts, depicted as loving every minute and being thankful for the opportunity to have been chosen for the hook up. Throughout the comic, Butcher is seen half-naked covered by naked women. Comments such as “You ladies had a job to do. You did it well,” “Word of warning, my refractory period is only seven or eight minutes, so enjoy the respite,” illustrates he regards the women as non-existent.
With his chiseled abs and American flag bikini, fit with a holstered utility belt, gun, and knife, geared up and ready to go, Butcher Baker is the picture of a biker anti-hero. He is more concerned with getting his sexual needs met than attending to justice. Eventually ,Butcher jumps into his truck and is off to his mission, but his heart is not in it. He tries to get into the kill, but it is all for naught. Had the comic focused more on the mission and less on the woman, there would have been a purpose for Butcher.
Even when a team of “adversaries” joins together to investigate the explosion, hot on the heals of Butcher, it is not enough to take away from the lack of taste that the piece starts with. The adversary characters add to the stereotype atmosphere of the comic by offering little to no depth themselves. One of these character’s attempts at sounding spiritual comes across as fraudulent instead.
The series has a group of great characters and the potential for an interesting plot, but it just didn’t suffice for me. The sex was gratuitous, not adding to the enjoyment of the characterization or the plot. Butcher Baker is stunning visually but leaves you wanting for more depth.