Farmhand #5 Gets Thorny With A Shift Toward Horror

by Tony Thornley

With the end of the first arc of Rob Guillory’s Farmhand, Rob’s set up the future of the series, with a litany of threats and perils for the Jenkins family.
Farmhand #5
Guillory, color artist Taylor Wells, and letterer Kody Chamberlain have done a lot in the last few issues. It’s interesting how they’ve paced this arc and set up the future.
Andy Jenkins is missing. There may be a problem with the Jenkins seedlings spreading into town. And the new mayor– Jed’s old business partner–may be much more sinister than she first appears.
This is a story that’s going to be rewarded in re-reading in chunks, but its enjoyable enough to be read as it’s released. In this issue, a lot of the threads that had somewhat blended into the background were revealed as much more important than we may have realized. It shifts the series from a comedic weird sci-fi story into the realm of a conspiracy horror-thriller.
Farmhand #5
Guillory really shifts the tone here, and it’s the the benefit of the story and characters. The previous four issues were much lighter, but here the tone is dark and a little scary in more than one way. We also get to see the depth behind the characters that we haven’t seen yet, as tragedy helps shape them into more three dimensional people.
Rob’s art also shines. The body horror aspect of the story has been an undercurrent so far, but with this issue, he puts it square in the front. The transplants (hey, I just got that joke!) are starting to have side effects, and Thorne’s modifications turns her into a formidable monster moving forward.

A lot of the scary elements are made even more frightening by Wells’ color work. He has mastered using the sickly green of the plants, shifting it into a scary realm. It really clicks.
This story still seems to be flying under the radar, but I’m liking it quite a bit. I’ve recommended it for sci-fi fans in my last reviews, but I think I can safely say horror fans will be drawn in as well.

Farmhand #5 is available now from Image Comics.

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