Review: Big Man Plans #4

I-I don’t know what to say.  This final issue has left me totally speechless.  This book is devastating in all the right ways.  In the conclusion of all this everything is laid bare.  The reason Big Man came back to his home town, the terrible things done by the sheriff and his deputies and why vengeance needed to come and why it needed to be bloody. In this tale of brutal retribution we have seen some shit.  Through some pretty graphic images we have seen Big Man set on fire, Vietcong brutally murdered, a man spontaneously castrated and another person’s head disassembled with a pliers, but I have to say they saved some of the most gruesome, most shocking imagery for this last issue.  If you ever questioned if this book was meant for adults the imagery used in this issue might make you question if ANYONE is mature enough to handle this book.  I was unsettled by what I saw here.  Somehow this vivid and horrific imagery seemed to fit right in with the rest of the book, it didn’t seem sensational or unnecessary.  In fact in seemed very much necessary.  It is, however, one of the few vengeance stories where you feel sorry for the target of vengeance.  You understand why it needed to be done and in a way you feel it might even be deserved but you also feel great sadness and pity when Big Man finally finishes his grim business.

Big-Man-Plans-#4This book has changed me.  I am different for having experienced it and I think comics are different for having allowed it.  This book has done things that are unlike ANYTHING else on the market.  NOBODY is doing what Big Man Plans is doing.  From the art to the story to the characters, there is nothing else like it.  This final issue is told in giant two page spreads, the panels flowing across the pages in giant, beautiful panoramas of characterization and violence.  The way it teases the violent results of the torture before showing it to you in plain, disturbing detail is as artful as it is sickening.

You feel bad for Big Man in the way he’s been treated his whole life, you see him as this angry, hollow husk of a human being good only for inflicting and absorbing pain through no fault of his own.  The only reason he is like that is because he had the bad luck of being born different.  But as bad as you feel for Big Man you feel worse for his final victim.  His last victim is a deplorable person but what is inflicted on him leaves you feeling as hollow as Big Man.  The book is brilliant in the layers it presents.  The evil Sherriff, who is the final victim, a person who was born into relative privilege, given every opportunity, even ‘got the girl’ but he somehow ended up as twisted as anybody could be.  While Big Man grew up in a good family and tried to be the best person he could be but through constant hardship and torment was scarred, his humanity scooped out until nothing remained.  The layers are thick and the story dense.  I don’t want to ruin anything more by continuing to talk about it.  If you think you can handle imagery then I encourage you to get this book and read all of it.

Score: 5/5

Big Man Plans #4 (of 4) Writer: Eric Powell/Tim Wiesch Artist: Eric Powell Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/8/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital