After four impressive issues, Albuquerque closes out book one of his hyped new series. With Nila in the past and Joshua primed to face off with the Spear, this issue looks to be an epic finish. Ei8ht #5 is out June 17. Is it good?
Ei8ht #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
Ei8ht has been one of my favorite series of the year and has consistently churned out exciting and shocking issues. Considering this is the finale of the first arc, I went into it with high expectations, but unfortunately (and surprisingly) it wasn’t able to meet them. While previous issues have always included some sort of time travel twist, this issue falls flat as it simply closes out the storyline in a seemingly happy-ish ending. While it isn’t an overtly cliché close to the story, it does leave you wanting a little bit more.
This finale focuses on two storylines: Nila trapped with the scientist and soldier in the past and Joshua formulating a final stand with the Spear. However, considering this whole story has been leading up to the showdown between the Spear and Joshua, the confrontation is a bit anticlimactic considering the resistance’s “final stand” only lasts five pages. When I went back and noticed just how short that section was, I tried figuring just what content made up the rest of the issue and really it just relies on transition pages to help close out the arc cleanly. Sure, it’s nice that the story is complete, but is that really what we want considering the comic’s tendency to leave us hanging?
I am a little concerned that I personally lost interest in this issue due to the lack of crazy space-time continuum material. I’m hoping Albuquerque and Johnson don’t have to begin to rely on those twists in order to make an intriguing and compelling issue, but that may just be a personal belief. Now this issue does end on a cliffhanger within the comic’s epilogue. Collins, the female soldier who’s left behind in the past by the scientist and Nila, awakes to find her chimp-like attackers stuck with arrows and sprawled around her. When she looks behind to see who saved her, expecting her friends to have come back for her, she’s greeted by some early-in-the-evolutionary-process homo sapiens bearing the same markings as the elders.
Now while this is a great cliffhanger, it’s very different from the others in previous issues due to its “WTF?” nature as opposed it pulling you in to find out what happens next. Rather than being intrigued, I was just confused. It’s a very Grant Morrison move on the creative team’s part. But I recognize I’m am being a little too critical. The art is just as amazing as always and the team does create a succinct end to their first arc, but it’s just not the fireworks I expected.
Is It Good?
Unfortunately this finale didn’t pack the usual punch Ei8ht seems to consistently bring to the table. With a very short battle and a lot of pages that felt like filler, Ei8ht #5 doesn’t present the fireworks we anticipated. However, the opening story arc has still been an impressive one and by the way this issue closes, it seems Albuquerque and Johnson still have a lot up their sleeve and this series is anything, but over.