Back in the 80s you couldn’t move for comics about talking animals! Now, after a decade or two break, we seem to be getting a renaissance of anthropomorphic animals with great titles like MULP and Scurry leading the way. Proving that it doesn’t just have to be mice getting in on the action, Steve Sims returns with a second issue of Beast Hunting Battle Badgers, but can this title measure up to the classic animal comics from the good old days!
Publisher: Steve Sims Illustration
Writer: Steve Sims
Artist: Steve Sims
Price: £4.50 from the Battle Badgers Facebook page
Our rating: [star rating=”4″]
Continuing the action from Issue 1, this second installment sees the Beast Hunting Battle Badgers travelling across a desert in a prison wagon, having been arrested the previous issue. While awaiting their arrival to what the locals call ‘the Chasm’, brothers Laird and Flint strike up a conversation with fellow prisoner Lawson, describing their ongoing mission to avenge their destroyed tribe by hunting an evil monster. However, first they have to get out of their current predicament, and defect a very different monster awaiting them at the ‘Chasm’.
Beast Hunting Battle Badgers is fun, light-hearted action adventure comic which, while obviously inspired by the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, reads as more like a direct homage to Usagi Yojimbo. Starting with a funny couple of recap pages, which allow the issue to act as stand alone or part of an ongoing arc, the entire story is told in such a light tone, completely eschewing dark content even when the plot becomes threatening for its heroes. Because of this, the characters, while coming across as tough, are so funny and enjoyable to read, especially during the introduction of Splinter-like new character Lawson the Turtle (which may have been an obvious nod to TMNT).
Of course, Sims gorgeous artwork really helps cement this light feel with gentle, clean lines. The characters are designed with some incredible detail, especially in their facial movements while the story locales, specifically the introduction to the ‘chasm’ is so intricate and looks so full of life. However, the real standout in the art department is a series of pages depicting a flashback sequence told by the leads. These pages, while looking identical to the rest of the book, has some subtle difference in darkness and shading which makes them look appropriately dreamlike while also introducing the series’ big bad look appropriately menacing.
While not groundbreaking, Steve Sims has produced an incredibly fun comic which reads and looks like it could be a serious competitor to some mainstream titles. If you enjoy the turtles comics or cartoons, or even just action comics in general, then this’ll be the comic for you.