Bass Reeves #1
Art by: David Williams
Written by: Kevin Grevious
Slave. Lawman. Legend.
In a life torn between family and duty, the story of Bass Reeves shines a bright light on one of the most legendary lawmen of the American west. Reeves escaped slavery, became a feared tracker and bounty man, then accepted a commission as the first black man west of the Mississippi to wear the silver star of the US Marshals service. Bass always got his man, arresting over 3,000 outlaws – a record that stands till this day.
Loosely based on “the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River”, Bass Reeves tells the story of an actual US lawman, and does so in beautiful style. While I would caution against taking the details of the story too seriously, the rest of the book is amazing. Ignore any idea of historical accuracy though, and you are sure to find amusement in these pages.
And I only say that because of a pet peeve with “based on actual events” stories. The comic is full of action and emotion, thoroughly explaining the characters motivations while at the same time making him a complete bad ass. Every page is either exciting or thoughtful, and the details are solid and consistent throughout. It’s an excellent story, and anything that stirs up interest in actual historical figures is a win in my book.
Where Reeves #1 really impresses me, though, is the art and direction. The characters are properly stylized to give it a unique look, and each page is full of stylistic choices that just make every detail better and better. From the careful use of shadow to give scenes emotional depth, to the purposeful lack of details in the violence, this book is carefully, lovingly crafted, and it shows.
Beautiful Comic Based on a Real Life Hero
While the biographical details are "inspired by" at best, I do like that the comic draws attention to actual historic figures, and the book looks absolutely fantastic.