Hey guys! Welcome to B’s Views and Reviews, the podcast that promotes faith-based, family friendly comics and the creators that make them, brought to you by Geek Devotions, the show by devoted geeks devoted to letting you know that you are loved. I’m B, and today we’re going to be looking at the first issue of a real life Wild West Hero, Bass Reeves
Here’s the plot: in 1875, crime in the Indian territories near Fort Smith, Arkansas has reached an all time high. New Marshalls are sworn in only to be killed days later. In desperation, Judge Parker calls on bounty man and local legend Bass Reeves to patrol the territory. Singing hymns and quoting scripture, Bass Reeves brings God’s judgment on those who would prey on the meek.
My first exposure to Bass Reeves was on the TV show Timeless, where it is suggested that he is the inspiration for the Lone Ranger. His story is very similar to the Lone Ranger in that he is a stand alone lawman riding a white horse who answers the call to justice against insurmountable odds. Bass Reeves is the stuff of legends…people in the story debate whether or not he’s real.
While the jury is still out on whether or not the Lone Ranger was based on Bass Reeves, the real story of Bass Reeves is amazing enough to be a legend on its own. And that is what this book calls attention to. The artwork has a cartoony feel to it, less realism and more Saturday morning adventure. The style utilizes a lot of firelight in the dark, and when there is sunlight it seems blinding, as the background washes out in white. This is an interesting choice by the artist, as Bass Reeves seems to be entering into a dark world where he is the only source of light and justice.
The really neat thing about this story is that the Christian is actually the tough guy!!! Normally, the Christians of grim adventure tales like this one are the idealistic ministers or missionaries that are constantly in over their heads and having to be saved by the wayward anti-hero. But not this story. The Scripture quoting, hymn singing Bass Reeves is a man of faith AND a tough guy that has criminals telling stories about him over the fire. Bass Reeves is a shining example that being a follower of Christ does not mean you have to be a wimp.
The fact that he’s a family man adds another dimension to the story. Imagine Batman having a wife and son to come home to after fighting the likes of the Joker and Bane. It drives home just how desperate things are that he feels the need to become a marshall despite his wife’s misgivings and his son’s eerie fascination with gun violence.
As far as content, there is very light language (use of “hell” as a swear word) and gun violence, making this comic geared for a slightly older audience. I would say 10 and up could read it . Allegiance rates it T for Teen, but as always, that decision is up to the parents.
Bass Reeves is available in Walmart stores, online at walmart.com and at allegiancearts.com.
Until next time, Stay devoted! Peace and Love!!