Review: Penultiman #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Alan Robinson
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Rob Steen
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Early retirement torments Penultiman – but he just might have found the right motivational speaker to dig him out of his rut! (SPOILER: It’s the wrong motivational speaker!) Meanwhile, Penultiman’s android assistant, Antepenultiman, builds an artificial sidekick of its own! Also: bonus illustrated prose stories!
Penultiman #4 is the penultimate issue (I know I will not be the first nor last person to do that, but I could not help myself) of this brilliant series. The whole series has led to this really. Our hero, his robot and now his robot’s robot all know one thing, it is pretty easy to hate yourself, but really hard to like yourself. Why is that? Well, According to Peyer and company, and poet Philip Larkin, whose “This be the Verse” is a clear inspiration for this series, our parents are to blame. They may not mean to be the ones to blame, but they kind of are.
Of course, this book is also special because Alan Robinson is special. As we see Preantepenultiman’s creation, we see what the inside of Robinson’s mind looks like. It is pretty cool. Also, the motivational speaker that looks like Weird Al and Dee Snyder had a baby who took steroids is amazing. If you didn’t see that before, you will never unsee it now. Robinson’s attention to detail is on point. When you get to the part of the book where you Penultiman’s shame cabin, stop reading for a second (I know it is hard) and just look around. What a scene. It is horrific and sad and kind of perfect.
The only problem with this book is that it is the second to last book in the series and that means it will end next month. That bugs me.
Penultiman #4 is so damn good. I can’t begin to understand how Peyer is going to finish off this story in one more issue nor can I understand why he would want to. This book is so freaking amazing. The art is special. The story is heartbreaking and funny. Based on these four issues, I would expect Peyer to get an Eisner Nomination and if he doesn’t, I will by bite my thumb at them.