“PROOF: ENDANGERED” #2 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on Feb. 05, 2011

The second issue of PROOF: ENDANGERED (Image Comics) continues with new plot twists surrounding a secret agent who hunts and protects mythological creatures. Monsters, giant worms and shadowy government agents stand in the way of Bigfoot from learning the truth about his mysterious past. The stakes are getting higher as the Sasquatch’s greatest enemy threatens everyone he loves.

The story begins with a somber flashback as John “Proof” Prufrock struggles to fit in with humans during the 1800s. Bigfoot became comfortable in the wild wearing just a loincloth. But in order to be with his girlfriend and please her parents, he sacrifices part of his lifestyle to be with her. No matter how hard he tries, though, Proof will never be accepted into her family.

Now, Proof and his loyal sidekick, Elvis Chestnut, are stuck in the lair of a gangster’s warehouse, surrounded by henchmen with guns. All of a sudden, the Mexican standoff is interrupted by a crazy vixen and her giant Mongolian death worms. She holds key information about the whereabouts of Proof’s missing brother. In order to get to her, Proof has to survive a battle to the death against the giant worms.

Just like the first issue, the story comes in waves of subplots. Proof’s girlfriend, Isabella, and partner, Ginger, were wandering around a clothing store shopping, when a sadistic three-eyed monster suddenly attacked them. The three-eyed creature jumps into the air and rips off his prosthetic arm. Underneath his disguise is a long razor-sharp blade, which he will use to chop off Ginger’s head.

Elsewhere, The Lodge, a secret organization, is under siege by a group of shadowy government agents. This underground facility was a safe haven for dinosaurs, faeries and other fantastical cryptids. Paradise has become an impenetrable prison for these collective creatures. These men in black are holding the Lodge hostage in order to attract the attention of Proof and his associates.

Author Alex Grecian keeps the narrative engaging with three intersecting subplots. Through his writing, Grecian has a clear vision, with the big picture in mind, as he keeps all of his characters involved in the storyline. As a talented storyteller, the writer never loses momentum, keeping the solid plot moving at a quick pace.

Artist Riley Rossmo (COWBOY NINJA VIKING) further enhances the storytelling, using close-ups and splash pages to transition each subplot. In just a single close-up, the reader understands what the main protagonist is going through. Rossmo layers Proof’s facial expression with pure emotion of alienation and loneliness. The main attraction comes when Proof rips and tears through the Mongolian death worms.

PROOF: ENDANGERED #2 ends on three consecutive cliffhangers, which will absolutely have readers anxiously coming back for more. Comic book fans have a lot to look forward to with this series. PROOF continues to be a well-written and stunningly drawn comic book.