Here we go folks: the big finale to the first arc of Cry Havoc. Let’s see how Simon Spurrier closes it all out. Is it good?
Cry Havoc #6 (Image Comics)
Let’s cut to the chase: this… this was thoroughly disappointing. Having asked Spurrier about the series last month on Twitter, he said there could be more issues after this arc by saying and I quote: “followed by more as-and-when.” So the future of the title is up in the air and ultimately, this could be it for the series. And honestly, this feels like a series finale, but the kind of series finale you would get when a show or comic is abruptly cancelled.
Like with the final issue of Slash & Burn, this reads like a rushed conclusion through and through. The majority of the issue is one big exposition dump as the characters explain their motivations, revealing to us how both sides are equally bad in their own special ways (it’s like when a villain monologues about their master plan to the hero). It forces Lou to undergo a character transformation, switching sides and reaching an epiphany about who she is now. It doesn’t feel earned or natural in the slightest, but more like the creator realizes he needs his character to be at this point and skipped several steps to get there. Things happen in the issue, but don’t feel like they make sense or come out of nowhere, like Lou having control over her powers. It just happens way too quickly and with not enough build up for it to have the impact it should have.
Soon, we’ll have all the wool we need!
Because of the rushed nature of the story, the writing broke down significantly. Most dialogue is used to explain a person’s motivations, why they act certain ways, or how some unanswered things in the plot worked. It’s rarely character-driven and when it actually is, it doesn’t feel natural in the slightest, like when Lou makes this big speech to monster people just like her (it’s also kind of ignorant and extremely naïve of her to make said speech. It’s like a person who’s a part of a majority becomes a minority for a few months and then speaks like she knows the struggle the minority goes through). The pacing is fast here, quickly turning out large amounts of exposition and plot/character progression to try to get through it all.
Characters who actually survive the issue are too easily forgiven (yes Lou. Totally forgive everyone who was about to rip a baby out of you to drain its blood instantly); plot points are dropped or concluded horribly, like with Lou’s magical baby being turned into a bomb and thus she won’t have to deal with the fallout of having a baby. And there’s little to no characterization for anyone else in the comic who isn’t Lou. This is bad. REALLY bad.
The only thing that is good is the artwork by Ryan Kelly and his team of inkers and colorists. It looks just as great as the previous issues, though there is less switching back and forth between the inkers and colorists. Most of the story takes place in The Red Place, so we don’t see much variation in the style and tone like before. Regardless, the characters look as good as always with how they express themselves and how they are depicted. The monster and creature designs are nice, and we even finally get to see Sri’s real form (though not for long). The layouts are dynamic and the panels and pages flow from one to another rather well, with the occasional exception. It’s just a fine looking book from start to finish with the unfortunate problem of lacking the writing to take advantage of it.
Is It Good?
Cry Havoc #6 is a huge disappointment and plummet in quality. The story and character developments are extremely rushed here, speeding through potential ideas and character growth. The writing suffers due to the speed at which things are resolved, leaving the experience feeling awkward and in need of a few more draft phases. The only thing that doesn’t suffer is the artwork, which while good, is not enough to save the title. This series started off so promising, but it just fell off as time went on. It could still redeem itself if the series does return, but until that point, I just cannot recommend the comic.