Maybe Zeke’s sister isn’t who the readers have thought? This month’s issue of Farmhand shines a spotlight on Andrea Jenkins and her part in this story. From what was an important albeit secondary character, this issue propels Andrea into the VIP category. Readers will learn surprising things about her and maybe even change their opinion of her. Meanwhile, outside of the main plot of the issue, the town mayoral vote is happening in the background.
It’s always great when readers think they’re beginning to understand a story and its characters and the creators go “hah” and pull the rug from under them. That’s exactly what Rob Guillory has done with issue four of Farmhand. For months now Andrea has been the irritating sister who always sided with the incredibly dubious Jedediah. But with one simple issue readers now totally understand why she has acted the way she has for the previous three issues.
Guillory raises new questions about the characters, leaving readers pondering about how they feel about Jed and his farm. Like the last few issues, there are a couple of cutaway jokes a la Family Guy. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this is probably the best they’ve worked so far in the series. In fact, to add to this, the series’ artwork is at its funniest here. Guillory is a master of tone with an ability to draw in his cartoonish style and render both comedic and horrific scenes. Both are present as always, but the cutaway gags are particularly funny thanks to his keen eye for comedic artwork.
The mayoral vote is a great pacing device that cuts up Andrea’s story. It’s hard not to see comparisons between this small fictional town and the very real political landscape of America right now. Guillory does a good job of keeping both candidates (and their campaigns) similar to those of contemporary America, whilst also maintaining a strong originality. Especially considering how this issue progresses, one would be led to believe that this B-plot is much more important than one would initially think. This idea links well with Andrea going from a background character to one of the most important in the series.
There’s not much to complain about with the issue. As previously said, not everyone will appreciate cutaway gags. It is always difficult to declare a comic as the perfect issue, but this is one of the best single comic issues out this month if not this year. Guillory has contained a single story into a wider series that both stands on its own feet and develops the series as a whole.
This is probably the best issue of Farmhand yet and works wonders at building hype for the next and final issue in this arc. Farmhand is proving to be a fantastic series and this specifically proved to be a great single issue.