Proof Endangered #5

Story by
Art by
Riley Rossmo
Colors by
Frank Zigarelli
Cover by
Image Comics

"Proof" is one of those books that I picked up just for the hell of it to try something new, and was pleasantly surprised. It's also one of those books that has stuck with me and called me back time and again. After all, what's not to like about a book that stars Bigfoot, who by the way now dresses in suits and tracks down cryptids for the government?

This book is every bit as enjoyable as that sentence was to type. "Proof" has struggled to grow beyond the initial audience the book found early on, but that hasn't hampered the quality of the stories at all. Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo make each issue a solid, full read, frequently garnishing the book with extras, like character bios and articles about cryptids.

Rossmo's art is more sketchy than it has been ever before, offering a frantic sense of urgency to this entire issue. The urgency matches Grecian's uneasy story as Proof, his partner Ginger, and the rest of the cast are placed in the middle of insurmountable odds and overwhelming uncertainty. Through it all, though, Grecian and Rossmo give us a believably human cast (even if some of the cast clearly aren't human) that almost springs from the page. This issue is the last of the "Proof Endangered" series which was an attempt to do a soft reboot and a concentrated effort to reach out to new readers.

Although Grecian and Rossmo give us plenty of teases for new "Proof" stories in the future, this issue appears to be the last of "Proof" that we're going to see for a while, and, honestly, it's a damn shame. Grecian and Rossmo refuse to let this title just fade away into obscurity, however, as they use the stories in this issue to offer peeks into the future of John Prufrock. There is an epilogue sequence that seems to offer a vision of peace and harmony for Proof and his partner, but there are also teases of stories: "Cryptid War" which appears poised to continue the adventures of Colonel Dachshund, "Poplar Forest" which features an insightful conversation between Proof and Thomas Jefferson, and "The Squid and the Mountain" for more on the main thrust of this story and undoubtedly more Mi-Chen-Po action. Mi-Chen-Po is proving to be a major threat for Proof, but also seems to know how to manipulate Proof into inaction in just the right way.

I've tried to help readers see this book for the brilliant alternative that it is. Grecian and Rossmo haven't simply introduced a cast of characters and sprawl of settings with their work on "Proof." They've built a world, a brand, and a franchise. "Proof" is a book that has offered some really great stories populated with compelling characters. If you missed "Proof" up to this point completely, give this issue a try, or better yet, ask your comic connection to hook you up with one of the collected editions.

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