Advance Review: American Legends #4

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Bill & Zachary Schwartz
Art, Colours, Cover: Studio Hive
Lettering: Troy Peteri

The third issue of American Legends ended on a cliffhanger, with the boat our heroes were sailing in attacked by the Windago (conjured by a magic doll). They needed to leave it while in the centre of the river. But the current was fast, and waterfalls were approaching.

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Issue #4 opens on them falling down the waterfalls, with Sally Thunder and Mike Fink getting separated by Davy Crockett. They see their friend on the shore, helped by a gigantic man wearing a pot on his head. His name is John Chapman, and he’s quite an odd fellow: he talks to plants and animals and brings with him huge sacks full of apple seeds, that he sows wherever he fancies to. He seems friendly enough, though, so the three adventurers decide to rely on him in order to try to find their way back to where the Lewis & Clarke Expedition is. Of course, the Lafitte brothers and the witch Marie Laveau are still carrying on their plan to disrupt the very same expedition trying to make sure that the blame falls on the Spanish, so the President will have no choice but to declare a war.

Bill and Zachary Schwartz keep building the tension towards the grand finale that undoubtedly awaits us in the next issue. In some parts of this issue the rhythm of the story seems far too peaceful, the tension nearly grinds to a halt, but it’s only the calm before a huge storm breaks. And the two co-writers have also managed to masterfully weave in the story one more character from the American legends: John Chapman is nowadays better known in songs and stories as Johnny Appleseed.

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The art by Studio Hive is, once again, majestic. The care for detail, the perfection of the colours, the expressions on the faces of the characters suggest a job done with infinite attention and skill. The art makes American Legends, already a very good comic series, even better.

Definitely an interesting series, that is moving smoothly towards its end – that I’m sure won’t disappoint.

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