Overview

Buzzard #3

Review

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Buzzard #3

Credits

  • Words: Eric Powell
  • Art: Eric Powell
  • Colors: Dave Stewart, Dan Brown
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Aug 11, 2010

Though Eric Powell’s Buzzard is only three issues long, it’s a story so complete and so fulfilling that I’m still in awe of what it has actually achieved. It’s a morbid book, but it speaks to the morbidity that lingers in all of us: death is always near. We can’t help it, we can’t escape it, and we’re fascinated by it. And when Powell shows us someone who has not only defeated the Grim Reaper, but has become a vision of him, we wonder if the end’s final arrival could really be that bad.

Though Buzzard is a book that broods, it’s not a sallow experience. It is dark fantasy at its finest; Powell sets up a bleak world of creatures and supernatural happenings accented with just enough action and adventure to keep the plot moving forward at an attention-grabbing pace. But it’s contemplative without being philosophically dizzying; this book pokes at the questions in life we can’t avoid and answers them openly and honestly.

As is to be expected in this concluding issue, the Buzzard, the boy, and the woman near the den of the heathen god who is corrupting the children of a nearby village. During a raid led by the demons, the Buzzard appears out of the mists of time and space and saves the villagers. In awe of his power, they plead with the dark hero (if “hero” is even a correct term to use for the character) to slay the god and set their village free from its tyranny.

Aside from the Buzzard himself, this isn’t a book about characters. The boy is a proxy for youth and naïveté, while the woman rescued from fanatical cultists in the second issue acts as a representative for the lower point of human compassion. Let’s just say that she’s not around long, and it’s up to the reader to discern exactly what happens to her.

I wouldn’t dream of giving away the ending, but I will say that Powell handles it perfectly. I’m not being hyperbolic—I can’t imagine an ending to a story like this in any other fashion aside from what we’re given. The last few pages clearly demonstrate how Buzzard is a miniseries of themes and atmospherics and not a plot-driven narrative. It’s a comic that we feel as much as we read and intellectually digest. To read into it beyond the emotions that are bared to us would be missing the point of the book’s impact.

It’s a true dark gem in the annals of Dark Horse.

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