Review: Penultiman #5: Ultimate Issue
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Alan Robinson
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Rob Steen
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Final issue! Penultiman’s artificial understudy, Antepenultiman, has patiently tried to repair the superhero’s self-loathing attitude – but now the android’s patience is gone! Can a sidekick force a hero to heal? Also: bonus illustrated prose stories!
Penultiman #5 makes readers ask themselves one serious question: Are you happy with who you are? Of course, that question comes with others about regret. Why is this a positive thing you wonder? Well, for me, a comic that makes me laugh, has some amazing art, AND makes me think is practically perfect. We should know by now that Ahoy comics is not trying to follow a path set by any other company. This ultimate issue of Penultiman is a simple reminder that comics are high art and that we can learn a lot from them. In five short issues, I was asked to not just look into the life of a comic book hero, but to look in the mirror and deal with some of my own stuff.
In addition to this brilliant writing, there is the art by Alan Robinson. It. Is. Amazing! He is one of the most expressive artists working today. I always know how our hero feels and I know how those around him feel. I feel like I have been dropped into this world and I am living in it. It is special. Look down below. See all the emotions. It is so damn good.
Penultiman #5 may not feel like a great ending for people who like endings to be, well, endings. If you need neat bows, this is going to piss you off.
Penultiman #5 stuck the landing. I kept wondering how Tom was going to pull this off and in just five issues. Well. Good lord. He certainly did it. For a minute there, I thought it was going to be a time loop, but I was fooled. I like being fooled. That means the writing is excellent.
I love an ambiguous ending. Was AntePenulitman really Penultiman the whole time or did they switch places? Was there ever a moment where we could know for sure? Does it matter? It may to some folks, but for me, this was just what I needed. I have a pretty satisfying ending with a crack left open for more should Tom and Alan want to do more. Thanks guys. It has been an excellent series.