See all reviews of Beautiful Canvas (4)

A showdown on a zephyr. Every sacrifice hurts. Love endures and obliges. Lon Eisley has had a good run, but her story ends here. Stay in your seats for the coda, though, because the end is the beginning is…

From Sami Kivela (Chum) and Ryan K Lindsay (Negative Space, and DC Writers Workshop] comes this masterful conclusion to a gonzo dystopian tale of villain zephyr fortresses, a scorched Earth, and brutally hard choices.

The series started off with hitwoman Lon Eisley being hired to kill a child. At the same time, she finds out her girlfriend Asia is pregnant and begins to question whether or not she should go through with the job. Not to mention the woman who hired her, Milla, is a bat-shit crazy billionaire that finds art in violence and death. The semi-futuristic world has mutant henchmen, suits of robo-armor, and people that have been used as lab rats in experiments to unleash super-human abilities, so it’s not going to be easy for Lon.

This issue centers on the face-off between Lon and Milla. Writer Ryan Lindsay, has been building up to this conclusion since the beginning of the series and you get a feeling it was supposed to be about ideals coming up against one another, not just two women in opposition. Unfortunately, Milla was always portrayed a little too lavishly to come off as menacing. Perhaps she’s just insane and that’s the catalyst behind all her Machiavellian plots and the only way she seems to be able to talk is in melodramatic villain speeches.

While it didn’t make me raise my eyebrows at the beginning of the series, as there was plenty of time to show some depth of character or at least a passable explanation of why she considers violence and death art, in this final chapter it seems she was never anything more than hand-wringing villain, though an entertaining one.

Lon was a cool character and she certainly was up against moral choices that you’d think would lead to character development. Maybe it did, but it didn’t help that we first met her as a broody hitwoman and other than reconfirming the love she had for her girlfriend and their relationship, in this issue, I don’t know that anything’s changed. I don’t need to know her favorite color, but I don’t feel like I ever found out any more about her in this final issue than I did in the initial one.

The art has been good for the entire run of the book, thanks to Sam Kivela, and this one is no exception. It’s cool to see the blending of the more realistic characters, like Lon and Eric, against a plane full of wolf-headed hybrids, for example. He made the book feel unique and uses the panels to reinforce the tone of what is happening in the book, such as the page of Milla sitting on her throne, with panels of her mouth and eyes intercut throughout her speech.

Is It Good?

First off, I would definitely recommend reading the series, as it is very unique and makes the attempt of telling a story in an unconventional way. However, going back and reading the first issue again, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. It literally threw you into the story and asked you to catch up without slowing down. By issue #4, there are two or three instances of characters using exposition to explain away many of these details, such as the van full of mutants that initially attacked Alex. The characters were interesting, but you never really feel like you know any of them, which made it hard to make any kind of emotional attachment to the story. In the end, although the creators seem reluctant to revisit Lon, she and the rest of the characters could have benefited from some more time on stage, away from the plot, and perhaps a little more background.

Beautiful Canvas #4
Is it good?
Beautiful Canvas is an interesting book, featuring a mix of hybrid mutants, a pyrokinetic little boy and a hitwoman suffering a crisis of conscience, that may not have come together as well as I hoped.
Ties up the loose ends
Some memorable panels that really make an impression
The big bad, Milla, was a little shallow, without an explanation about what motivated her other than crazy-brain
We’re shown a lot of Lon’s choices and conflicts, but not much on who she was or where she came from
It’s the last one! If you didn’t get the answers you wanted, you’re not going to any time soon.
7
Good