The penultimate issue has arrived and with a comic like this it only means one thing: Lots and lots of bodies. Considering the fact that our hero was facing a very big man wanting his sword back I don’t see this ending well for our protagonists. Is it good?
Suiciders: Kings of HelL.A. #5 (Vertigo Comics)
So what’s this book about? The official Vertigo summary reads:
It’s all-out war! Slade Wilson attacks the island stronghold controlled by the mercenary army called “the Dead Bastards,” while his one-time comrade Victor Ruiz leads a lethal strike group from the League of Assassins. But in order to protect his children, Rose and Jericho, Slade may be forced to battle Ra’s al Ghul…to the last killer standing. Will this be the end of Deathstroke?
Why does this book matter?
You’ll only have to look at the cover of this issue to know we here at AiPT! have enjoyed this series. It has been very good at showcasing the brutal violence of street gangs, but equally captured the sickness of anger and obsession via captions.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Lee Bermejo and artist Alessandro Vitti certainly know when to drop the hammer on their characters. Major deaths take place in this issue which turn this from an intense street fight into god damn tornado of destruction. This tornado also turns the reader around because the direction it’s going seems to completely change. That’s exciting, especially because a dark and twisted cannibal reveals a bit more about himself and that can only mean they are playing a big part in the conclusion.
Said character is a nice surprise in this issue, as we see two flashbacks that reveal this person may have lost their soul due to the Big One taking out California. Bermejo does a great job showing us how a boy can be turned into an animal for a moment, but when that’s turned on they’re an animal for life. The flashbacks are haunting, gruesome, and yet somehow sad. It helps to solidify this character’s humanity when we see them laughing with a woman on the street a mere page later.
As the characters disperse and react from all the carnage of the last issue (and opening pages of this issue) we get a nice taste of the bigger picture via captions. Cleverly told via Trix in the past tense (as if due to the shock of seeing mother ripped to shreds), a gloom hangs over the last quarter of the issue as we see it’s hopeless for some in New Angelese. Vitti hammers that right into our heads when we see scared and desperate characters be torn down by the very law that’s supposed to protect them. Given recent events in the news these scenes feel even more poignant and relatable.
Vitti outdoes himself with this issue, with dramatic choice of angles and his now customary brutal violence, but most importantly he never loses the soul of the characters. When Trix runs for her life, or sees a horror, you feel it via her eyes and face. The flashbacks work so well because the character is quickly sympathetic and you feel for him, which makes the awful actions of said character even more unnerving. Leonard meanwhile is like some kind of uncaged animal hellbent on revenge and destruction. He’s like the opposite and Vitti makes him appear to be a force of nature in how he draws him. Top notch stuff all around.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The cliffhanger left me a bit confused because from what I understand there isn’t much to the offer of the character. Maybe I’m forgetting something from a previous issue, but I’m not sure where this issue goes from here and not in a good way.
Johnny is screwed right?
Is It Good?
Gripping, relentless, haunting, unnerving and deeply human–Suiciders: Kings of HelL.A. makes you feel all kinds of emotions.