Extremity #12 concludes Thea’s epic adventure of revenge, grief, war, and community. Though the series was always planned to have a 12-issue run, I’m sad we’ve finally come to the end as I’ve always looked forward to each chapter in this emotional, action-packed series. Does this final issue end the series on a good note?
For the most part, yes. Issue #12 picks up immediately where #11 left off, as the two issues are essentially both parts of the ending chapter split in half. Writer and artist Daniel Warren Johnson packs the final fight with action, explosions, sacrifices, and character deaths from beginning to end. It’s an exciting, fast-paced conclusion that is fun to read if you like intense fantasy action. This also makes the issue fly by with regards to pacing which contributes to the overall feeling of a rushed ending even with an extra 20 pages added on for the finale. Immediately after the dust of the final battle settles, we only get one scene with Thea before the issue ends, leaving the reader with a lot to ponder about the overarching themes of the series.
I’m torn about how I feel about Johnson’s ending, as I don’t think that leaving the reader to answer all the questions is always a bad thing, but for a series that portrays vengeance and war so poignantly, I wish Johnson allowed his characters to say more in the end. The dramatic deaths throughout the issue felt like they didn’t have enough time to leave any real impact with how little is said about most of them.
Johnson’s art in this issue is absolutely as stunning as it has been throughout the whole series. From crumbling castle walls to huge fantasy creatures, the pencils and inks in this book deliver on all fronts. Johnson excels in his ability to maintain a distinctive style that includes tons of lines and details that continue to amaze me in his ability to work on a monthly series and still pack in all the little touches he does. He’s especially good at adding lots of lines together to make wrinkled textures like in clothing or a large creature’s skin and this issue delivers all of that in spades. Especially importantly for this series, characters’ faces consistently convey any and all emotions the script calls for, making the more tragic scenes in this issue leave an impact on the reader even if I feel the script rushes through them too quickly.
Mike Spencer’s colors throughout the issue deliver as usual with lots of bright, poppy greens, oranges, and pinks. In a series this heavy, I appreciated that the coloring always leaned towards brighter palettes that let the line art shine. For a series about war and death, Extremity has always been very colorful, and I appreciate the work Spencer does in this issue as well. I must give a special shout out to Rus Wooton’s lettering work here. The dialogue and narration all have a distinct feel that pairs well with Johnson’s line art, but his action effects are especially striking, often filling, or even crossing over panels with an electric feel that takes the action up to the next level. Whether it was Wooton or Spencer that colored those action effects, my compliments to the team for making the lettering gel so cohesively with Johnson’s art in both font and color.
As an individual issue, Extremity #12 is a little too quickly paced for my liking and its ending is a bit anticlimactic. However, as the conclusion of one of my favorite series from Image Comics, I still enjoyed reading it and the team’s art delivered on all fronts till the very end.