Writers: Van Jensen
Artist: Jose Pimienta
Inker/Colorist: Matthew Petz
The Leg: The Remarkable Reappearance of Santa Anna’s Disembodied Limb Graphic Novel
Our story is set in 1938, when the Leg has reappeared, clad in a tall leather boot. When the Leg learns of a new threat against Mexico, it embarks on an epic journey across the country, battling with villains both modern and magical in its quest to save the country and redeem Santa Anna’s tarnished legacy. Will the Leg succeed in its quest?
The Ups: Van Jensen steps into the creator own world with The Leg and it is a touching debut. This story revolves around Mexico in 1938. A group of Americans have come to Mexico to spark chaos for monetary gains with the assassination of a Mexican political figure who stands in the way. Santa Anna was a hero and a embarrassment of Mexico’s legacy. Before his time came to an end he gave his wooden leg a funeral but the people did not agree with his actions. They took the Leg and drag it across the streets of Mexico never to be seen again until now. Once the Leg and the Americans cross path, The Leg goes on a quest for revenge and finds friendship, supernatural forces, and resolve. Jensen crafts a heart felt story of a magical leg that could be appreciated by all ages.There are plenty of humorous moments but the book is at it’s strongest with the emotional and political elements. I really enjoy the internal conflict of the Leg with finding out who he is and what he wants to be. Jensen does a great job developing the character with little exposition. I found it funny that people were quickly able to accept the existence of a magical Leg without much questioning. This was a good way to focus on the story and not get bogged down on the minor details. The Leg gets a supporting cast that will have you in awe a lot. The dynamic of these characters are wonderful and is easily accessible to people of all ages. Jensen does a fantastic job with setting the historical facts and tales of the novel. His knowledge and research of Mexico shows through his fluent Spanish dialogues and the hysterical figures that show up in the story. He creates a pretty accurate representation of 1938 Mexico with the help of artist Jose Pimienta who grew up there. Pimienta’s art has a Charles Schulz style to it: Simplistic and fun. He puts great detail into the setting to bring Mexico to the readers visually. Pimienta also brings the dark element with his depiction of the supernatural. Scenes with the witches were very creepy and shows that he has range in his art style. The icing on this compelling story is the colors. Petz was clearly the best choice for colorist as he uses a trippy color scheme. One of my favorite scenes was the introduction of giant man. The use of purple in those panels crafted a dark and eerie feeling that sets the mood. Petz also uses a wide range of light and dark colors to display the time of day perfectly. I really enjoyed the colors of this book.
The Downs: My only tidbit was one of the supernatural scenes. It replays a moment in the book twice that I was not sure if it was part of an illusion or if the scene was done again. That one page was difficult for me to follow but that is just me.
Overall: Jensen’s and Pimienta’s passion for this book shows greatly. Jensen writes a fun and compelling Spaghetti Western that takes you through many emotions and adventures. Pimienta and Petz do an amazing job making us feel like we are in 1938 Mexico with colorful art. This is a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Jensen’s new venture. Don’t let this one get away because it is a sure hit!
Grade 4 of 5