Reviews

Review – Head Lopper #14 (Image Comics)

Head Lopper #14 (Image Comics) cover A (detail) by Andrew MacLean
  • Writing - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Art - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Overall - 9.2/10
    9.2/10

Head Lopper #14

Writer: Andrew MacLean
Artist: Andrew MacLean
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Erin MacLean
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 16, 2020

The past of the Head Lopper, Norgal, has been revealed but the adventure continues, as artifacts must be found and monsters must be slain if the Quest for Mulgrid’s Stair is to be fulfilled.

Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
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“Death Stare” Head Lopper #14

The quarterly adventure continues in Head Lopper #14. Or, if you prefer, Head Lopper Quarterly Adventure Comic, issue 14, Vol. 4, 2 of 4. We learned some surprising news in the previous issue of Head Lopper. Apparently, Norgal, our tried-and-true hero, used to be the vile executioner of the Kingdom of Arnak Pluth. King Manderbolt and his son Tarf immediately recognize their once-“employee”. Why would Norgal come back to Arnak Pluth? Because he has the key “that shimmers in the light of stars”. A key that Norgal thinks will open the fabled Stair of Mulgrid. Too bad only Norgal believes this is true, and the fabled Stair lies in the Kingdom of Arnak Pluth.

Head Lopper #14 (Image Comics) cover B by Tradd Moore
Head Lopper #14 (Image Comics) cover B by Tradd Moore

The revelation of Norgal’s past shocks his friends Brishka and Goat, and delights the witch’s head, Agatha. King Manderbolt doesn’t want Norgal’s crew to leave, but Brishka strikes a deal of sorts with a small lie. Now our team is heading to the snowy town of Korr to find the Arnakian Hammer protected by the Gorgon, who turns her enemies into stone with a glance of her eyes, in Head Lopper #14.

Writing

Andrew MacLean brings us on another headhunting adventure in Head Lopper #14. He had a huge reveal in the previous issue and I like the way MacLean subtly deals with it in this issue. It does not take over the issue, but it definitely plays a huge part in the events and what happens. We can also see a slight difference between how Brishka and Goat react to Norgal within the pages. It also doesn’t take away from the “mystique” of Norgal the Head Lopper. 

A lot of times when you have a more mysterious character like Norgal, when you reveal too much about him it kind of kills that aura of mystery. MacLean has done a great job so far of revealing his past but not killing the “aura” of the Head Lopper and what he has built around the character.

The only complaint story-wise is Head Lopper #14 felt very short. Normally the quarterly format makes the story feel very full, but this just didn’t deliver that. The story itself also didn’t seem to move as much further along as previous issues, especially with only 2 more issues to go. Also, just part of the quarterly format and just how crazy the year has been. It is very hard to remember what happened in the previous issue 3 months ago.

But the story itself is still fun and exciting, and we get some good information about some characters going forward. Also, we learn about some obstacles in their paths. Also, the mysterious “thing” that has been hunting Norgal and Agatha finally makes a deadly move!

Art

I mean, if you read any of my previous reviews of Head Lopper you know I am a huge Andrew MacLean fanboy and I adore his art style. Just love, love, love the look of it. Obviously, it continues to shine in Head Lopper #14. He gets to showcase some fun action sequences and wonderful character design once again.

I loved the scenery and design in Head Lopper #14. The snowy mountain town of Korr is majestic and wonderful just to look at. The dark, snowy landscapes and the snow-covered houses and buildings are tremendously well done. The fight scenes are always a highlight of the series. MacLean makes it feel like you are watching someone play a platform-type game with his visual style and flair.

Jordie Bellaire also continues to shine on colors in Head Lopper #14. That snowy mountain town is captured perfectly by Bellaire. I love the nighttime scenes as she paints the scenery in wonderful hues of blues, whites, and blacks. She has also brightened the series up the past few volumes, and it brings a tremendous vibe to the series.

Conclusion

While Head Lopper #14 might not have had as “full” of a story as previous installments, it is still an incredibly good issue and just continues to be a fantastic series, overall. I don’t think there has been a bad issue of Head Lopper. If you are looking for an adventure comic full of sword, sorcery, monsters, and intriguing characters, you have to be reading Head Lopper

Norgal’s crew continues their quest for Mulgrid’s Stair. Is the legend truly a “fool’s errand” or are the fables true? And what secrets does the witch’s head, Agatha, truly hold, and what does this mysterious man/creature truly want with Norgal and Agatha? Only way to find out is to pick up Head Lopper #14.


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