If mystical journeys through monster infested lands, vicious goats and fights with cyclopses sounds appealing, then Dark Horse Comics has the perfect story for comic book fans entitled, “The Sabertooth Swordsman and the Mayhem of the Malevolent Mastodon Mathematician.”
The story starts off with images of a beaten and bruised man who finds a flier that promises a chance at great and magical powers to those who travel to the legendary Sasquatch Mountain.
With very little words, the artist, Aaron Conley, uses extremely detailed black and white artwork to describe the man’s journey to Sasquatch Mountain.
Once he reaches the top of the mountain, a scary looking Cloud God approaches the man and grants him the power of becoming the Sabertooth Swordsman in which he may keep all of his newly blessed powers once he completes a series of violent physical tests of strength.
Completing the feats of strength, the once disfigured man becomes a strong saber-tooth cat who wields a sword of legend.
The reader later comes to find the reason for this man’s journey to the mountain in the first place was because his wife was kidnapped by the evil Mastodon Mathematician; whose minions had beaten the man to a bloody pulp earlier as well.
With his newfound powers, the Sabertooth Swordsman goes on a journey to the Mastodon’s fortress, which turns out to be a series of crazy events in which the Swordsman must use all of his powers.
Similar to the crazy world of “Alice In Wonderland,” the plot contains imagery and events that could only come from a drug induced imagination.
Everywhere the Swordsman turns there is another barrier or foe that tries to stop him from reaching his final goal of saving his wife. He first encounters some gypsy folk in the woods and is all too quickly tricked into eating a dinner in which he gets poisoned and goes on some sort of mind bending acid trip.
After his trip he runs into more minions of the Mastodon who try to divert the Swordsman’s path; during this the reader sees more detailed artwork of the fight that takes place between the Swordsman and the Dementor-like villains that work for the Mastodon.
After this fight, one of the more comedic parts of the comic happens when the Swordsman is attacked by a vicious horde of goats.
The goats are persistent in their mission to kill and yet they are probably the most entertaining part of the whole comic.
After the goat incident, the Swordsman is led into the creepy woods by a little man who promises him shelter and food. Obviously being a trap, the hero finds himself in the tree lair of a cannibalistic witch who craves to eat the Swordsman.
Using his new powers, he manages to battle his way out of the witch situation and finally finds himself approaching the domain of the Mastodon Mathematician.
Before he enters the main gates of the fortress, the Swordsman must again battle another army of the Mastodon’s minions. Following the minions more fight scenes break out between the Swordsman and two disturbing cyclops ogres, who speak in sexual innuendoes while violently beating up the Swordsman.
Once the Swordsman finally reaches the Mastodon himself, more twists and plot lines are revealed about the story, while more fight scenes happen between the hero and the villain all leading up to an action packed ending.
The comic itself is an eccentric tale of an original superhero.
While the artwork is certainly something to be appreciated for how detailed it really is, unfortunately sometimes the illustration was so detailed it was hard to figure out what the image was actually of.
The intricate lines and the lack of color sometimes brought about a sense of dizziness while reading through the comic.
However, with such detailed artwork, there was really no need for much dialogue, which was nice while reading.
This comic is definitely not recommended for younger children. Even though the imagery was in all black and white, it still portrays many scenes of brutal physical violence with blood and guts very prevalent throughout.
Not only is the story violent it also contains some very sexual undertones in what little dialogue there was.
With the villain being an evil mathematician, it really reinforced my opinion that math is truly the source of all that is evil.
Although I wouldn’t really recommend this comic to all readers, it is definitely a perfect fit for anyone who loves a bit of dark comedy.
“The Sabertooth Swordsman” definitely proves that all comic books aren’t the same and that there is always a superhero for every type of reader no matter the genre.