Here we are folks: The last issue of POP.
POP is a book that I’ll probably remember for a long time, if only for the simple fact that actual writer commented on my last review.
Let’s see how this whole mini-series ends. Is it good?
POP #4 (Dark Horse Comics)
I’m going to skip the opening story bit and just get straight to it. As a finale, how did Pop #4 work? Did it answer all of our questions? Do characters get the well-crafted endings they deserve? Are there any storylines or bits left unanswered? Was this satisfying in any way? Does it actually feel like an ending and not just cheap sequel bait? Well… there’s a lot to cover here honestly, so let’s break it down:
As a finale, did it work and bring resolution? Yes. This feels, more or less, like a complete story. It wraps up most of the storylines and brings an end to all of the characters’ story arcs. There are a few minor loose ends at very end, but they are not that big and don’t really take away too much from the experience. I mean, the big bad got away with everything in the end and the guy sacrificing his life ultimately meant nothing in the end, which really is rather depressing but what can you do? If you were enjoying the comic before this point, I don’t see why you would be too disappointed by the outcome.
And just like in Pulp Fiction — you’ll never see what’s in there.
However, speaking truthfully, this issue wasn’t that great overall and didn’t really change my mind about the series as a whole. POP #4 and the mini-series as a whole never really got off the ground and lived up to the potential it had. The whole cloning pop star angle and theme the comic had was just not properly explored, barely ever touching upon music or the ideas around it (mostly just in very brief disjointed montages). The story never felt all that exciting and the ending didn’t feel all that satisfying to me. The heroes never confronted the villains, the story just kind of rushed through most things and the relationships, plot points just happen randomly, and the comic just peters out.
Then there are the characters and it’s disappointing on that front. There wasn’t much time focused on Coop or Elle (the only character moment for either of them was the two of them kissing but it didn’t feel earned), with most of their character arc having been wrapped up in the previous issue. The guy who rescues Coop in the end and who also set Elle free in the beginning of the series gets his backstory revealed here, but it is all shoved into two pages with tons of text and dialogue. It feels like the comic wants us to really connect and care about him and what he did, but since we barely knew anything about him until the end, it’s kind of hard to care. The villains are the same as always, not being all that interesting or memorable in the grand scheme of things. It’s rather unsatisfactory character-wise.
POP #4 does feel a bit decompressed and padded out in the climax scene where where the cloning facility is destroyed. The layouts are pretty solid here admittedly, but not much really happens in them. The dialogue and the narration are forgettable and none of it really jumps out at you while you read the book besides one bit. The ending peters out a bit like I stated. While everything is wrapped up for the most part, the last page of the book feels unneeded. It doesn’t really add anything to the story and feels almost tacked on, like it’s trying to deliver a message about something.
The artwork by Jason Copland still remains the best thing about the book. The layouts have always been creative and interesting to look at it, the characters are decently drawn and exhibit a nice range of expressions and the colors are interesting and make some of the images pop (no pun intended). If you liked the book’s artwork up until now, you’ll be satisfied with this. There’s no real dip quality anywhere to be found.
Is It Good?
POP #4 is what is, for better or worse. From my perspective, it’s a lackluster ending with good artwork. In the end, I don’t hate this mini-series — I’m just disappointed, sticking with it until the end in case it did a turn around. I personally cannot recommend anyone checking this out in the future when the trade comes out. I will say though that if you have been enjoying the mini-series up until now, you’ll walk away from this happy.