Dark Horse Review: Last Stop on the Red Line #2

Review: LAST STOP ON THE RED LINE #2

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Paul Maybury

Artist: Sam Lotfi

Colors: John Rauch

Letters: Adam Pruitt

 

Reviewed by: Tony Farina

 

Summary

This month in Last Stop on the Red Line, the red line is once again, red. As in, blood covered and pretty disgusting. There is another nasty killing on the Red Line and Torres is on the case.  Of course, that does not stop Officer Torres from being able to drop her kids off to school in one minute and on her hands and knees in a pool of body parts looking for clues. She is, over all, tougher than me and most likely all of us. Her new partner, Ben, shows up and that is uncomfortable and awkward.

Yusef, is dreaming of monsters again. Are they real? Are they dreams? Well, it’s complicated. Unfortunately for him, he shows up on the camera around the time the murders. That means, Torres and Ben are going to show up at his shelter and things will not go well.

I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll just have to read the book.

 

Positives

Sam Lofti has decided that this world is full of monsters and only some of the characters can see them, but we get to see them all. Oh boy do we see them. Each panel of this book is so well crafted. Paul Maybury is doing what any good writer does, he scripts it and gives plenty of blank panels for the artist to shine. Look at this simply panel:

Just a simple panel of Yusef’s hand breaking out of the snow, but it is also breaking out of the dream. There is so much we can learn from just the way his hand is placed. He is not punching his way out, he is clawing. He is reaching for help. It is powerful and this book is full of images like that.

John Rauch’s work on Last Stop on the Red Line can not be under sold either. Look here:

This panel comes right after the hand bursting out. In both cases, the colors are some how vibrant and dull. Somehow inviting and repulsing. The viewer feels like s/he is looking through a foggy/snowy/dirty window as though we are in the world with them.

 

Negatives

Ben is a somewhat off putting addition. We already have a lot to keep up with in only 4 issues, so adding a new character right now, when we don’t really know everything we want to know about Torres, who is the star of this show, is a bit of a distraction. I get that he is there to be us. He is our way into her life. He says things he “thinks” he knows about her, so I understand who he is, but I just think we could get there with the characters we already have. It is a minor nitpick, but it is a nit nonetheless.

 

Verdict

This is solid story telling. The idea of trauma that manifests itself in the form of a killing machine is intriguing. There is something compelling from page to page. The art is stunning. The character of Torres is fully formed and she has all of the dimensions. The mystery is well crafted and pulls the reader in. This is a solid book from Dark Horse and everyone should jump on the Red Line, but, you know, wear your galoshes.

 

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Tony Farina

I am a writing professor at Siena Heights University. I have been reading comics for over 30 years. The first comic I bought was in 1984. Green Lantern 176. First appearance of the Demolition Team. Favorite Robin: Tim Drake Favorite Green Lantern: Jessica Cruz Favorite Flash: Barry Allen Favorite Batgirl: Barbara Gordon Favorite Nightwing outfit: Disco Favorite Batman: Duh, There can be only one