This has been an amazingly brutal, but splendid Will Eisner inspired mini-series that has told a story well but at times has turned even a hardened stomach like my own but this issue starts with the promise of more violence, as well as some revelations.
Sure enough brutality ensues however there follows a few pages where Powell and Wiesch quite touchingly tell the story of our Big Man and how he joined the American army after finding out Holly,the girl he loves was engaged, but after this interlude it’s back to more brutality as he deals with the man she married.
We find out Frank is a total fucking bastard. We find out how he falsely arrested two gay boys. We find out what he and his friends did after they raped and beat the boys half to death. By this point we as readers are angry so that when the Big Man continues his torture of Frank we’re almost accessories to the mutilation.
Watching a man like Frank being slowly taken apart over a number of pages isn’t cathartic, or it shouldn’t be because as horrible a monster that he is (and he deserves to pay for his crimes) the punishment being dished out is extreme, but the Big Man is a product of his upbringing and Frank’s bullying helped create the monster he became.
This has been a great book but I think people may miss the morality of the story because deep down this is a morality tale but it’s not one where we’re supposed to empathise with what is a horrific central character, not because of his size but because of what he does. Neither are the agents of law or order in this people we can rely upon. Big Man Plans is a visceral read and I hope for more from Powell and Wiesch of this standard as it’s been a superb four issues.Even if those four issues have been detailing the behaviour of monsters.