What am I talking about this time: Image Comics, Farmhand #2
Written by: Rob Guillory
Artist / Cover by: Rob Guillory, Taylor Wells
Is it worth $3.99? Yes, but juuuuuust barely.
Overall Review: 3.5 out of 5 Green Thumbs
Spoiler Free Review:
The fist issue of Farmhand was a gory delight of plant horror and family issues. The story twisted and turned around a few characters while building a warped botanist version of Willy Wonka. This issue broadens the world with more characters and plants the seeds (eh! eh!) of other storylines, but it doesn’t further any of the established plots from the first issue, and tones down the creepy factor quite a bit. It’s not bad a comic, it just wasn’t as satisfying as the first issue. Farmhand #1 was like a three course meal at Jimmy Pesto’s Eatery during all-you-can-eat Potato Shrimp Night. This issue was more like eating a tin of Pringles on your lunch break. Sure, technically you ate lunch and it was good… but you know… you ate an entire tin of Pringles man, come on.
There is one sequence that really saves this comic, where the art and characters use horror as a tool to express certain emotions-we’ll get into that in the spoiler section.
The art remains great, even at times carrying the tone of the book on it’s back without the story to support it.
The comic stars off great with a 4×4 panel set recap of Zeke’s life, the panels include the mundane to the life changing, especially the loss of his mother. In the final row, only 3 panels Zeke sees a sign and gets riled up.
Zeke’s dad picks a nose-flower off a tree and meets with Ms. Lansbury who has lost her nose, seemingly to domestic abuse, the moment is played simply and well and leads into her getting attacked by the nose flower until it settles on her face, returning her looks and smile. Then Zeke busts in, angry and this is where the comic derails for almost the rest of the issue.
We cut to Zeke’s wife at an antiques shop, the curator offers her some tea to take home as Zeke calls. Zeke kinda explains that his cat was killed on a similar sign and things are “happening again.”
At school, Zeke’s daughter is in detention for punching a boy at lunch and Zeke’s son is being harassed by Dodgeball-bullies. They toss the ball at him, but before it can cream him in the face, an kid jumps out of no where and kicks the ball back at the bullies, earning him the nickname Batman.
The comic comes back around when Zeke is not hired for any of his three interviews, he comes face to face with his sobriety demons as he stands in front of a liquor store, from his POV, we see the hell scape that is the world tempting him to go inside. It’s really a wonderful sequence using horror as lens to explore his struggle with alcohol.
Unfortunately, the comic doesn’t offer much up after this. Zeke meets a hippie who works for his dad at the plant (eh!!! Eh!!!) then 2 big guys threaten them and toss them in a car trunk. But shortly after one of Zeke’s old high school buddies, who is also a preacher and just happens to be there, saves them by beating up the 2 big guys and pulling them out of the trunk. It’s a pointless scene that doesn’t work.
Zeke stops by the antiques place, but no one is home except for two glowing eyes of different colors that Zeke doesn’t see.
Zeke calls his dad who doesn’t answer cause he’s on the phone with a previous client who is growing roses out of her back.
I really hope for the next issue, they bring back the tone that made the first issue so much fun.