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‘Bravest Warriors: Paralyzed Horse Giant’ adds character depth and fluff

‘Bravest Warriors: Paralyzed Horse Giant’ adds character depth and fluff

Giant Horse Cover

Bravest Warriors: Paralyzed Horse Giant

“Jellyfish Beach”: Written by James Tynion IV and Illustrated by Erica Henderson

“Flies”: Written and Illustrated by Kat Leyh

“Got Your Back”: Written and Illustrated by Tessa Stone

“Paralyzed With Hunger”: Written and Illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis

“Outside the Realm of Time”: Written by Mairghread Scott and Illustrated by Meredith McClaren

Published by BOOM! Studios


Knowing the knowledge that lurks in the depths of the universe is a wonderful thing up until you realize that the physical result is becoming fully paralyzed. This happens to main character Beth Tezuka’s horse in the Bravest Warriors franchise, and the ramifications of this are explored in the Paralyzed Horse Giant book published by Boom! Studios. Inside are five short stories that explore a different facet of the Paralyzed Horse’s character, and the problems he faces due to his paralyzing knowledge of the universe.

The first story is “Jellyfish Beach”, where Beth and Chris, in their younger years, are on the planet, Alheya, taking a beach trip. Chris comes back covered in jellyfish, acting his way through the obvious pain of being stung by the seemingly harmless medusas. While Beth runs off to get the disinfectant, child Chris starts talking to the horse in a one-sided conversation about how he likes Beth to the point of a crush, all while Paralyzed Horse can only think of protecting Beth from the terror of a prepubescent lad’s emotions. This story sets Horse’s thought processes in how protective of Beth he really is, especially because she is a young girl at this point in the canon. While Tynion  crafts a simple but massively relatable story, Henderson brings an art style that almost replicates what the web show set in motion. Planet Alheya has cooler, blue/purple surfaces, and lime green sky, allowing all of the colors to look like candy, setting a backdrop for younger, more energetic characters.

“Flies” takes place closer to the webseries’ timeline. This time Paralyzed Horse has to deal with bothersome flies that bite him, one getting him painfully in the eye. Of course, if he could move his flank muscles he could use his tail to whip away the biting bugs. Beth shows up with the rest of the Bravest Warriors to figure out a solution to this problem, resulting in unique spins on the problem based off of their individual strengths. Leyh does a wonderful job illustrating the Mars barn where the Warriors have their base. The art style is once again reminiscent of the web show, although it is more rigid, signifying less motion. The story shows how grateful Horse truly is of the team taking their skills to his problem, in an attempt to help out the girl he cares for.

“Got Your Back” opens on a friendly mini-golfing outing between Beth and Chris. Of course, Paralyzed Horse is there to make sure that it goes well. However, a mystery assailant shows up and secretly tries to ruin this, the exact opposite of Horse’s goal. This story acts as pure fluff, showing how Beth and Chris act when they hang out as just friends. Even if Chris gets injured, he shrugs it off to having trained with the rest of the Warriors. Even in his failed attempt to look cool, he and Beth share an awkward silence, followed by the rest of the group showing up on the sight of a trashed vending machine that was the result of an errant golf shot. Stone chooses to go with a semi-realistic art style that would be right at home in a western version of an anime. While it is initially jarring to see characters in a more jagged style than usual, it isn’t off-putting. The problem, however, is that Beth’s exclamation of awesomeness early on looks more like rage than the result of an awesome golf shot. Background colors are warmer pinks and oranges this time, and set the back drop of a friendly date quite nicely.

“Paralyzed with Hunger” deals with a crucial element of life: food. Even with Paralyzed Horse’s knowledge of the full cosmos, he still has an issue eating. Impossibear throws a sandwich into the barn, and Horse tries to capitalize on this lucky event. Unfortunately, he cannot do a blessed thing to grab the sandwich. Eventually it decomposes, and Jelly Kid shows up on the brink of Horse’s starvation and feeds him some bread using his sliced-loaf conjuring power, ending with Horse’s dilemma with the results of digestion. The best part of this short story is that Paralyzed Horse eloquently describes the dire situation he is in, hamming up every description to eleven. Naujokaitis’ art, while colorfully appealing, is artistically crude. Even if the intention is to play up the story, this tale has the weakest art of the whole book. The colors pop, so there is some silver lining in this storm cloud.

“Outside the Realm of Time”, the final story, shows the Bravest Warriors in a sticky situation, and Paralyzed Horse is the only oneHorse Splash Art who can save them. Separating himself from his duel with the Aeon Worm, he creates a psychic globule that disrupts the monster of the story’s focus, which releases the Warriors. While they reflect on this, Horse takes this time to remember that he protects Beth because she cared for him. While the story is short and sweet, McClaren brings an art style that is a mix between realism and the web-series’ art, crafting a fluid and stylized visual world. There is a wonderful split between the cool blues of the See-Through Zone and the warm oranges of the physical universe. This art style is the one that pops the most, becoming the most visually appealing of the collection.

Paralyzed Horse Giant‘s collection of short stories is a wonderful view into the mind of the titular character. While he cannot move, his mind wonderfully shows his views on the issue at hand. The best part is that we can see Paralyzed Horse warm up to the rest of the group, especially Chris, over the course of the book. The problem, however, is that there is no definite spot in the Bravest Warriors canon that these short stories fit in, thus ruining the connection to the main continuity. All being said, these are cute stories that people can relate to: Friends looking out for each other.