Well it’s here, the finale of Jason Latour and Chris Brunner’s psychotropic crime drama and it’s…confusing actually. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Writer: Jason LaTour
Artist: Chris Brunner, Rico Renzi
Publisher: Image Comics
We’re at issue four of Loose Ends, the mostly excellent mini series from the creative team of Jason Latour, Chris Brunner and colorist Rico Renzi. If there’s one criticism I would levy at a book that I’ve fawned over for the past several months, it’s that they relied too heavily on what made them great. For three issues I’ve gushed about the fantastic visual story woven by Brunner’s pencils and Renzi’s colors, while expressing concerns that the lack of actual character and plot development could result in a rushed ending. Unfortunately, issue 4 – while still a visual treat – fulfills that premonition with a winding and sometimes confusing finale.
The strength of the art team of Brunner and Renzi is using creative visuals and colors to give you a better understanding of the characters’ mental states as they go through the crazy and winding circumstance of this sordid tale. We may not know a ton about Cheri or Sonny’s past, but we see them high on each other and myriad substances; we see them experience all sorts of emotions and sensations in an entirely visual way, and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, that kind of storytelling lends itself to a more measured pace, not a four-issue miniseries. This means that the bulk of this series’ story development all happens within its 25-page final issue.
This time around we learn that Sonny has been running drugs for a South American cartel, one with which his pursuers, Rose and Flynn, have a personal score to settle. What ensues is a series of setups and double crosses that leaves a trail of bodies comprised of mostly forgettable characters. I don’t like bad mouthing a book I’ve enjoyed this month, but the only characters we’ve really spent any time getting to know are Sonny, Cheri and – to a significantly lesser degree – Rej. We get a bit of backstory on Rose and Flynn’s partnership at the start, but it’s not enough to make the fate of either man feel poignant.
All that being said, the visuals in this book have always been the star of the show, and issue four continues the trend. The flashback of Rose and Flynn at the gun show is well rendered, with even the flashbacks within the flashback having their own unique aesthetic and color scheme. Cheri reading the article about the bloodbath she and Sonny fled in the first issue is also amazingly captured. I’m not entirely sure what is going on when Rose texts “2Pacalypse” (is he tipping off Sonny to be ready for the setup?), but the effect is cool all the same.
Overall, this series as a whole is fantastic and is the textbook definition of the old storytelling adage “show, don’t tell.” That being said, this final issue feels a bit overwrought. The story of the series is a good and interesting one, but we spend the first three issues following Sonny and Cheri and they’re essentially window dressing in the series finale. It sort of makes sense, as neither weighs too heavily in the grand plot the story ostensibly tells. The result is a feeling that we only saw a portion of the story, and as entertaining as that portion was, it still feels like an incomplete take on a larger tale.
An overall great story finishes with a spectacular if somewhat disappointing issue that’s high on visuals, but a little rushed as a story.