After an exceptional first volume, Postal kicks off its second story arc. Is it good?
Postal #5 (Top Cow Productions)
The issue opens with news reports of violence happening somewhere near the town of Eden. At the same time, Mark is taking us through his daily routine for picking and delivering the mail to his off the grid town.
You can see where this is going, right? Well, it goes there, but in a way that would make David Lynch smile and nod in approval.
Is It Good?
Two things clicked for me after reading this issue.
1.) I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from artist Isaac Goodhart since the beginning of the series. Postal #5, however, has officially converted me into a full-fledged fan. Not only do his pencils continue to get more nuanced and beautiful every issue, but the change in tone he creates for a flashback sequence is tremendously executed. Goodhart also continues to show an impressive ability to make the characters around Mark emote and react in a variety of ways that aren’t like him at all.
2.) Speaking of Mark, I’m not sure what type of personal experience Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill have with Asperger’s (if one/both of them have it or they are close to people who do), but the way they portray Mark’s interactions is spot on. It would have been easy/lazy just to have him seem stilted and unemotional and aloof; it also would have been inaccurate. Instead, Hill/Hawkins counter his outward appearance with a steady undercurrent of what he’s feeling beneath the surface.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the coloring work by Betsy Gonia, which really helped give this issue it’s wonderfully creepy vibe. I do wish we’d spent a little more time with the killers Mark faced, though. They were just starting to move from the stock ‘Crazy-Mask-Wearing-Cult’ into something more interesting when everything comes to a head. Even with the letter codas at the end of the issue, it still didn’t feel like enough.
Hill/Hawkins make up for this minor shortcoming, however, providing us with an ending that will have you worried about Mark for completely different reasons than before. It marks yet another strong finish for a book that continues to establish itself as so much more than just its intriguing premise. Five issues in, I think its safe bet that not snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night should keep this title from being added to your pull list.