When it comes to four part series we’re all winners.
First, it’s not possible the story will run on forever. Second, if they are compressing the story we’ll know from the beginning it’s not worth it. Oh, Killstrike has been worth it thus far and as we approach the final issue we pose the famous question: Is it good?
Oh, Killstrike #4 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios)
This series has been a fun little gem to read. There have been plenty of laughs motivated by the insanely silly ’90s comic book fashion of heroes with giant muscles. Writer Max Bemis has delivered what can only be a love letter to those comics as we embark on an adventure with a man coming to grips with the deadbeat dad he’s always hated. From the start he’s been on a quest to find the guy thanks in part to a giant hero named Killstrike who’s literally popped out of a comic book to help him. As they’ve travelled together tracking down his father Bemis has made fun of the over the top nature of heroes, but also captured the heart of a man newly a father and the fear that comes for any of us hoping to not repeat our parents’ mistakes.
As Killstrike and the protagonist reach his father’s last dwelling they read his journal and all is revealed… to a point. We also get some insane blabber from a crazy man too. Bemis goes all out as we see the protagonist become a hero himself and ultimately learn from his father’s mistakes. This means we don’t get to see him interact with Killstrike like he has in the previous issues – typically the funniest parts – but the concept is sound and should satiate those who are reading this because they too enjoyed ’90s comics.
Referencing how resolution comes when one advances the plot is a cute tact, one we’ve seen before in this series, but it does get a bit stale. You’ll be thinking, “okay we get it” and want it to do something new, but this is a meta type of book so it comes with the territory.
Because this issue focuses on the protagonist dealing with his daddy issues there isn’t as much humor or laughs in this. The big idea at play is comical, but it’s not laugh out loud funny. That’s a bit of a mistake since the humor is what kept me turning the pages so furiously in the previous issues. It does however conclude in a meaningful way, which most comics can’t claim these days.
The art by Logan Faerber continues to rock with plenty for him to draw. There is a climactic battle – bigger than the previous issue’s battle between Killstrike and the soccer team – with plenty of explosions too. I really enjoyed how Faerber drew the father’s flashback sequence too. It’s gritty and crazy and just the right amount of close ups to bring us right there with him in his insanity. Killstrike continues to be hilarious in the simplest of expressions too. I can’t wait to see his next book.
That was pretty funny. One of the only laughs though.
Is It Good?
Ultimately it’s a powerful conclusion due to the emotional resonance, but the lack of humor hurts the enjoyment factor.