[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tom King
Art and Inks: Mitch Gerads
The penultimate issue is strife with angst. Literally, less than five minutes goes by in this issue. Seriously, everything that was going down in the last issue, is still going down. The tension is real and panic is setting in. Screw that, the panic is in full effect. Bob goes into detail about his hand in Ali’s death. Chris is not able to be stoic anymore. Saffiya’s resolve starts to unravel in the face of Abu Rahim’s total BS. Nassir smokes a lot and listens. I have not smoked in years, but I understand the inclination.
I am tempted just write “everything” and drop the mic, but that would not do any of this issue justice. I am not even sure how King wrote this without giving himself a bunch of sleepless nights. He sure wants to give the reader a bunch of them. I have never really rooted for someone to be shot in the head before. I have never been disappointed before when the person with the gun in his hand does not pull the trigger. I am a pretty lighthearted guy. I have been a vegetarian for 24 years. I save spiders. However, I really, really wanted Chris to pull that trigger. Come on Chris. Get on with it man. Bob is such a giant bag of puke. Please. Speaking of bags of puke, Abu Rahim is a piece of work. Please feel free to insert work with any four letter derogatory word you would like. Again, King created a character to root against and I rooted the whole way through this issue.
Mitch Gerads is a rock star of realism. Most of the real-time story telling in this issue is done in close up. Imagine a tight shot in your favorite movie or show. Someone is talking and telling us something important. The camera comes in really tight. We see sweat, we see a twitch, we see a pupil dilate. We feel like we are in the room. That is what Gerads does here. We have never seen Saffiya’s scar so up close. Abu Rahim looks frightened. Nassir looks resigned. We have never seen Chris’ face look so haggard. There is a page where a woman runs by. Chris looks concerned and Bob smirks. Why? Well, we can only imagine what he is checking out. Man, I really despise Bob.
Pacing is the only concern with this book. Things drag along. It makes for a real life, but people read comics because they want to escape real life. I get that. This is just not going to be for everyone because of that.
The last panel. Honestly, if you did not read a word of this book, but you saw the last panel with the words, “To be concluded” there, you would run for issue one. Go. Get this book. Now. Seriously. What is wrong? Go.