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Review: Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #1


picWriter:  Joe Casey

Artist/Colorist:  Mike Huddleston

Publisher:  Image

Release Date:  March 23rd, 2011


I've always said that super powered beings would have super-powerful sex drives.  Apparently Casey and Huddleston think so, too.

Butcher Baker is a retired superhero who spends his days drinking, smoking, and having orgies with bevies of beautiful babes.  He was created by the government in a process reminiscent of the process that created a certain other red, white, and blue superhero well known to Marvel fans.  However, Butcher Baker doesn't have a Captain America personality.  His personality is much more akin to that of Watchmen's The Comedian.  So, if you imagine The Comedian with the powers of Captain America, you get an idea about what Butcher Baker is capable of when he puts his mind to it.

In issue #1 he is approached by two unusual representatives from the government to come out of retirement and do some dirty work.   Once the appropriate price is negotiated, Butcher gets to work.  However, though the operation appears to go right at first - it ultimately goes horribly wrong and Butcher is unable to go back into retirement.  A sub-thread reminiscent of Smoky and the Bandit is also introduced along the way.

Casey's writing is entertaining and fluid, introducing Butcher Baker as a very capable, sociopathic, super-powered mercenary.  Unfortunately, he's not written as particularly likeable - and while his antics and feats are entertaining - it's just because of the shock value of the antics/feats and not because you care what happens to Butcher.  Huddleston's art and coloring are remisniscent of the movie Sin City with black and white  mixed with sparse coloring.  The panels focus on the characters and storyline with minimal background detail.  It works to set the mood and tone of this comic.

I had been eagerly awaiting this comic and I did enjoy it.  It's not all I hoped it would be as I've not been able to find enough redeeming qualities in Butcher to make me like him.  At this point, he's just a thug he beats up other thugs when somebody pays him to do so.  So, I have to refer to him as a super-powered being rather than a super-hero.  Maybe that's the point of the book - but I'm thinking it may have difficulty establishing a following unless the next issues develop the character into someone more likeable.  The Smoky and the Bandit sub-thread was probably supposed to serve the purpose of softening the character a bit - but so far it isn't working as much besides a homage to that movie's theme.