Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Victor Santos
Release Date: 8th October 2014
I previously reviewed the first two issues of this book, read but never got around to writing my review of the third, and have returned in time to chime in on the last issue of this series. This series as a whole really was about the fine line between hero and villain, or even right and wrong. The main character Raymond Willis puts it best in this issue when he says “Life is much more complex than simple notions of good and bad.” That fine line is easy to cross and the problem most times seems that once you cross the line to the dark side, it’s just too much fun to go back.
This series, while reading in single-issue format, didn’t do justice to the story as a whole. I found it difficult to keep the timelines straight as the story is told in present and past tense, sometimes near simultaneously. If you are like me you get excited when your favorite writer is working on something new and can sometimes find yourself reading quicker than you should, in turn missing the little cues at the top of the page giving the time that part of the story takes place. For me to not give Mr. Barbiere high marks on a book is pretty much unheard of! I love Five Ghosts and I liked White Suits, but the method in which he chose to tell this story really took away from the book. If you sit and read the 4 issues back to back it does make for a great story, but even then the story is broken up by the time line changing and it isn’t always clarified what timeline you are currently in.
All that aside, this actually is a great story that takes an interesting look at morality in a world where super heroes are feared more than praised for being what they are – heroes. One man finds a way to make them heroes, but in order to do so he must become a villain. The real question of which one he is comes down the reader’s opinion, and that in itself makes this book worth the read. For a writer to take a story involving something we will never see but always dream of, super heroes, and really make us question which way our moral compass points, is not something you read everyday. So Frank, though my reviews for this have not been stellar from a stand-alone issue viewpoint, as a whole, this truly is a fantastic story!
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The writer of this piece was: Shane Hoffman (aka “Hoff”)
You can also find Hoff on Twitter.