Things continue to get worse and worse for Marco, formerly known as Spas, as the war between the Destroyers and basically everyone else rolls on in the latest volume of Gangsta. Cursed.

Spas has abandoned the Destroyers, realizing that everything he has been fighting for and against has brought nothing but grief and death to innocents. But just because he has left them behind doesn’t mean he has gained any allies. If anything, he has more enemies than ever. He’s on the run and has nowhere to go, trying to figure out what to do now in the warzone of the city.

The Breakdown

The third volume of this Gangsta. spin-off feels like a step back from the previous volume. Not necessarily in a way that kills or destroys the book by any means, but more in the way that it leaves you wanting more than what you got. This is probably the weakest volume in terms of plot and story: Spas has finally broken away from the Destroyers and pretty much spends the rest of the volume on the run, avoiding Twilights and situations as best as he can. In the background, the siege at Monroe’s compound ends and the orphanage is attacked and Ericka kidnapped, which will unfortunately not be explored much given that the main series is currently handling that. We also don’t get much in the way of exploration of the characters, leading to a rather light on substance, heavy on action and style. Now, this book wasn’t bad by any means and certainly entertaining, but compared to other volumes it just doesn’t feel as filling.

Most of the characterization, as usual, went to Spas, this time with him struggling to figure out what to do with himself. As he tells one character, he really doesn’t know what side he’s on anymore. He doesn’t want to kill Twilights and sympathizers, seeing that they are just people and innocents. However, there’s still part of
him that finds them inhuman and desperately wants to convince his allies to stop and see that what they’re doing is wrong, given him saving Minimi and trying to talk to him towards the end. He’s a conflicted and confused character: nothing he does may ever make up for the sins he’s committed, even if it’s perceived by others that he’s having a change of heart. However, as the same character who recognizes his change of heart says: there is still a chance for redemption through atoning for the rest of his life. We know in the future Spas turns around, but how he gets there, given where he is now, is unknown. What we have is a character really at the beginning of a character arc and redemption and given how well it has been written so far, it’s set to be a great ride.

The writing for the book remains decent, though not without its flaws. Like mentioned, most of the recurring characters don’t show growth or have many dimensions to them. There’s one exception and that is Maverick, who is slowly unraveling. Ever since her spat with Spas, she seems deluded and lost, unable to accept that someone on her side betrayed her. In fact, she starts constantly interacting with the “ghost” of her dead brother and ranting quietly to herself about “fixing” Spas, making for a very threatening, unnerving villain in comparison to the sort of bland sadists that Striker and Beretta are. The pacing is decent, keeping things moving at a good, swift rate where things don’t feel dragged out. The dialogue is fine and there are some noteworthy exchanges between Spas and Lazslo. I will say scenes of Beretta and Striker fighting and killing Twilights though is pretty played out at this point, so I’m hoping the creators can move on and use them for something else soon.

Then we come to Kamo’s artwork, who still does an impressive job as always. Besides capturing Kohske’s style like usual, they’re still able to draw a series with tons upon tons of different characters, all of whom have different looks, body types, and styles. The art does well at capturing the dramatic and heavy scenes, depicting the desperation in Spas and the terror and sense of defeat the Twilights have in their final moments. The layouts are constructed well, allowing for scenes that flow well from panel to panel without error or awkwardness. The action is solid and energetic in all of its over the top, bloody, and gory brutality, really showing how terrible and savage the world can be.

Is It Good?

Gangsta: Cursed. EP_Marco Adriano Vol. 3, while good, is a setback in comparison to the episodes that came before it. It feels a bit lighter in the content, putting all of its weight onto Marco/Spas. While it does that well and helps fill in background detail for the main series, it feels like it could have used a bit more to chew on. Still, Gangsta. fans should still find plenty to enjoy overall.

Gangsta.: Cursed, Vol. 3: Episode: Marco Adriano review
Is it good?
Spas makes for a great protagonist and has a great road to redemption story.
Maverick is a creepy, unnerving villain.
Good writing and artwork all around.
The majority of characters don’t really do much or are just fodder.
Not much story or plot progression.
The stuff with Striker and Beretta is treading water.
7
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