Creator Josh Dykstra is absolutely correct when he says that there are no bearded heroes… until now! The premise for Facebeast is pretty simple. Superhero with a beard. It’s simple and yet awesome. I might be completely bias though since I sport a beard several times throughout the year (currently growing another one right now!), but I found this story to be fun and full of beardness. That’s a thing now… don’t argue. The first issue kicks off with a convenience store robbery. Three armed dudes raid the place taking money and snacks, but when they go to leave they realize they forgot to pump gas beforehand. This delay gives Facebeast just the right amount of time to show up. He and his beard begin whipping sense into the men, but he drops his guard and receives a shotgun butt to the back of the head. The armed dudes take Facebeast with them for some reason and when he awakens they begin figuring out who he is. In the second issue we pick up with Facebeast as a hostage and he uses this opportunity to tell them all about himself and subsequently the reader as well.
The story is cheesy, but it’s good cheese (in my case vegan cheese, have you tried this stuff!?!). Dykstra clearly knows what he’s doing with the story and with the secret origin reveal. It’s intentional making it goofy and fun to read. This isn’t a story that takes itself seriously and that’s its charm really. Dykstra doesn’t try to re-writing the superhero handbook; rather he’s playing from it. The big difference is that his character has a beard. Most of the jokes made me chuckle and if they didn’t do that I at least cracked a smile because it was a very entertaining read.
I really enjoyed the artwork, but I was partial to the style of the first issue more than the second issue. The second issue had a lot more greyscale and personally it didn’t enhance the visuals, but detracted from them. In the first issue there’s a clean animated look to the artwork that again became part of the charm. In the second issue the greyscale gave the artwork more of a realistic look but the story remained goofy so there was almost a battling tonality to it. In general though artist Kate Carleton has a great style and nails all the physical humor that’s in the story. The last several issue of the second issue made me a laugh a lot and it was largely due to the visual presentation from Carleton.
If you want to simply enjoy a superhero title then look no further than Facebeast. Again, it’s playing straight out of the superhero handbook, but rather than gritty and real it’s funny and goofy. I really dug this series and will be looking forward to the third issue and beyond. Independent superhero stories are hard to pull off and while Facebeast isn’t without its faults it succeeds in standing out.
Writer: Josh Dykstra Artist: Kate Carleton Publisher: Naughty Bicycle Comics Price: $3.00 and $4.00 Website