Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: J.G. Jones
Release Date: 2nd November, 2016
Cast your mind back to July 2015. Are you there yet? Well, if you can remember back to that halcyon day, then you will know that a comic was issued to great fanfare and no small amount of controversy. It was the first issue of Strange Fruit and it was well written, provocative, and just beautifully painted. Roll on sixteen(!) months and we have made it to the final installment, and with any luck an astute denouement.
This issue continues with the levee on the verge of being overwhelmed by the flood waters, and the stranger doing whatever he is directed to try and save the day and the town. It’s man vs. nature and man vs man, and it all comes to a crashing, poignant crescendo.
Which was something of an anti-climax.
Don’t get me wrong, Mark Waid’s dialogue is wonderful, the way he portrays the unabated racial hatred in the midst of a natural disaster is masterful. J.G. Jones’ paintings are truly sublime, and his depictions of the heroic stranger struggling to make a difference are magnificent. Waid and Jones present a clever ending which is a shrewd indictment of political opportunism, however the climax is just… anti-climactic.
I’m sure that as a commentary on the racism in the Southern States of America in the 1930’s there are nuances here that I have no doubt missed. That hasn’t stopped me from enjoying a solid four-issue story of the superheroic efforts of a strange drifter, and of the racial struggles, in devastating conditions, of the people he ultimately tries to help.
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The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil