Reviews

Review – Head Lopper #15 (Image Comics)

Head Lopper #15 (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 #15

Writer: Andrew MacLean
Artist: Andrew MacLean
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Erin MacLean
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 17, 2020

To retrieve the Martan Keystone, the team must journey into the ancient mines of the City of Martan, where giant spiders lurk.

Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
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“No ‘I’ in Team” Head Lopper #15

Oh, yes, it is that time again: a quarterly, oversized adventure with Head Lopper #15. Or, if you prefer, Head Lopper Quarterly Adventure Comic issue #15, Vol 4, 3 of 4. But Head Lopper #15 is way easier. Anyway, Norgal, Brishka, and Goat are on their way to the mines of Martan, to retrieve the Keystone of Martan. The team is not too pleased with Norgal, as he rushed in to battle the Gorgon by himself previously, nearly dying if not for Brishka. But they still retrieved the Arnakian Hammer and are off to find the second item. The crew is going to have to come together if they are to achieve their next spine-chilling task.

Head Lopper #15 (Image Comics) cover B by Dennis Brown
Head Lopper #15 (Image Comics) cover B by Dennis Brown

In the City of Martan the crew finds more danger and deception afoot. With the mines filled with monstrous spiders and the Dark Lord’s assassins approaching, things will not get any easier for our team, but they have the answer in the form of swords and head-lopping in Head Lopper #15.

Writing

Andrew MacLean has started to pull some tricks out of his bag story-wise with this new volume of Head Lopper. We previously learned that Norgal was the executioner for King Manderbolt, to the shock of his friends. MacLean continues to build upon the backstory of Norgal in Head Lopper #15. It is a tricky thing to give a mysterious character his backstory, but MacLean seems to be treading the waters well.

MacLean continues to give some more characterization to Norgal as well in Head Lopper #15. There are some fantastic scenes between him and Brishka. Some very heart-to-heart and “tough love” moments that start to give some depth to our savage, head-lopping friend. 

MacLean also continues to weave a mysterious, crafty story of sorts. With some political intrigue, deception, and sabotage, along with the mystery of the fabled Stair of Mulgrid, MacLean has me highly interested in this story and how everything is going to play out in the final issue.

Art

If you have read any of my reviews of Head Lopper, then you know I am a huge fan of Andrew MacLean’s artwork. It always surprising how much storytelling he gets out of his artwork. Even with his more minimalistic style, he gets fantastic character emotions and acting out of it. We have seen this throughout Head Lopper, but it continues to shine brightly in Head Lopper #15.

Love the coloring work by Jordie Bellaire in Head Lopper #15. She uses some very dark tones in this issue. It not only sets the mood for the nighttime setting and the dreary scenery of the abandoned mines, but also sets the tone for the issue itself; and, as things slowly start to come together, she brings us back to the light.

I cannot review an issue of Head Lopper without mentioning Andrew MacLean’s wonderful character and creature designs. I believe one thing I do not mention often is the spectacular wardrobe each character has. Fantastic little details in the characters’ clothing that tell a lot about them just from looks.

Conclusion

A quarter of the year is already done and we get a Head Lopper issue to celebrate. Head Lopper #15 is an excellent issue and a great entry to this series. Maclean gets a  lot more in-depth with our bearded, head-lopping hero, Norgal. Has slowly started to peel back the layers to him, with great effect. MacLean also does a great job of bringing us back into the fold of the story. After three months away, it can be a little difficult to remember where we left off. MacLean has seemed to have found that sweet spot of not totally recapping the issue, but yet, still giving us enough information to jog our memories.


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