Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow
Writer: Stephanie Philips
Artwork: Josh George
Colours: John Kalisz
Letters: Troy Peteri
Release Date: 16th February 2022
Rather neatly bringing this comic’s second story-arc to both a satisfying and disconcertingly tragic end, fans of Stephanie Phillips’ incarnation of Anne Bonny should get a tremendous amount of enjoyment from Issue Eight of “A Man Among Ye”. In fact, considering that this twenty-page periodical’s plot so succinctly ends “one year later” with the central protagonist giving birth to a baby girl, it is sadly somewhat difficult to imagine where else the pirate queen’s future adventures could really go, unless the famed female buccaneer decides to once again threaten Governor Woodes Rogers’ control of the Caribbean.
Fortunately though, the American author does pen plenty for this book’s lead cast of characters to do before they all seemingly sail off contentedly into a star-lit night’s sky – including the final confrontation between Calico Jack Rackham and his former lover. This swashbuckling duel has arguably been a long time coming, considering the Captain’s early treachery, and doesn’t debatably disappoint as a somewhat sick at heart Bonny manages to hold her own against her significantly stronger opponent, courtesy of at least one feisty kick up into the man’s groin area; “That’s my girl… At least I know you still care.”
Likewise, the ultimate fate of the duplicitous Amira is suitably apt, following Anne’s revelation that she knew the cold-hearted killer was working alongside the disloyal Rackham all along. The smug, overconfident look on the arrogant bounty hunter’s face when she is initially threatened by Bonny imbues her with a distinct unpleasantness, which is later only matched by a genuine sense of ‘just deserts’ as an emotionally distraught Mary Read plunges a fatal sword blade through the lavishly-dressed woman’s chest from behind.
Just as successful as Phillips’ penmanship is Josh George’s penciling, which does a truly cracking job of depicting the strained relationship between Calico Jack and Anne just before and then during their exchange of sword strokes. The stunned look on Rackham’s face when he realises he’s to become a father is wonderfully illustrated by the “2000 A.D.” artist, and many a reader would undoubtedly have ‘heard’ the parental excitement in his next words if it wasn’t for the Captain’s suddenly savage demise at the hands of the back-stabbing Amira.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]