Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Microreview [Comics]: Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker

I am not sure how to begin this review or who I would possibly recommend this title for.  Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston created a phenomenal cast of characters in a surprisingly deep tale that is hidden beneath piles and piles of gratuitous sex.  The opening of the book is a good barometer for those interested in checking out this story.  If you aren't too offended and want to carry on, you should be fine.  If you are highly offended and don't want to continue, that is a good place to do so.

I am not a prude and am perfectly comfortable with sex and nudity in the comics I read, when appropriate, but this title pushed my limits and made me uncomfortable at times.  I don't feel that this book is borderline pornography and did feel that the exploitation aspect of Butcher Baker did contribute to his overall character and was gratuitous, but not out of place.

Despite the raunchy opening (and I am talking from the first page) which almost turned me away from this book, there is a level of honesty that is refreshing.  Butcher Baker is a retired superhero that was created by the government in a program that had similarities to Captain America.  The government was not as careful at who they selected and Butcher Baker definitely took advantage of his powers and his fame.  This leads to the aforementioned gratuitous sex that the character has quite the reputation for.  

The story starts simple with Butcher Baker asked to secretly reenlist (by Dick Cheney and Jay Leno) in order to truly finish off the criminal masterminds he put behind bars.  He doesn't utilize a subtle approach, clearing out the building of guards and then blowing up the complex.  This is appropriate to the flair and swag that he embodies, but some of the vilains survive the ordeal and want revenge on the Righteous Maker.

Without spoiling anything, after this moment the book starts to move from a fun popcorn summer flick, to a story with real characters and interesting twists.  The book opens with a bang to hook you, and then develops the characters in a fashion that really makes this title worth your time. 

This title truly shines with Mike Huddleston's character design and art.  Butcher Baker feels like a cross of Captain America, Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) and the Comedian from the Watchmen series.  Equal attention detail is given to the cast of vilains from Jihad Jones, The Abominable Snowman, El Sushi and the Absolutely to name a few.

A truly enjoyable story that is not for the faint of heart, you can pick up the hardcover that contains the entire run on December 18.

The Math

Objective Score: 6/10

Bonuses: +1 for an honest take on a human given superhero abilities; +1 beautiful art and character design (particularly the villains. 

Penalties: -1 for the high volume of sex and nudity that had me blushing throughout and worried someone would look over my shoulder and judge me.

Nerd Coefficient: 7/10 "An enjoyable experience, but not without its flaws"

[See an explanation of our non-inflated scores here]