Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker

Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston. Image, $17.99 (250p) ISBN 978-1-5343-0333-1
There was a time, perhaps in the early 1980s, when the violence and in-your-face sexuality of this graphic novel might have felt audacious. Since then, however, many writers have put their spins on cynical, sexualized superheroes, and this book, despite being cocreated by seasoned pros Casey and Huddleston, feels like the musings of a preteen boy who recently liberated himself by saying the f-word to his friends. The narrative engine is pretty simple: the title character, a retired superhero, goes on a final mission to destroy all his former enemies, who are incarcerated in a prison. It’s unclear why he’s uniquely suited for this task, since his approach is just to detonate the entire building. The grossly inefficient strategy leaves five villains alive and vying for Butcher Baker’s head. Initially this graphic novel seems like a satire of American hypermasculinity, but with its lack of wit or consequences for all the civilian collateral damage, it’s really a glorification of everything it purports to mock. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
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