Proxima Centauri #6 from Image Comics comes out this week and it is the final installment in a groundbreaking six part mini-series. This visual and emotional rollercoaster ride, created solely by visionary writer and artist Farel Dalrymple, has taken us on a fantastic journey of the abstract and the metaphoric.
It starts out with Sherwood describing a recurring nightmare that he has about the end of everything. He knows somehow it is his fault but he feels that there’s nothing he can do about it, which only adds to his frustration and fuels the catastrophe at hand. There’s only one chance to save everyone trapped in the spectral zone on Proxima Centauri, and that is for Sherwood Presley Breadcoat to enter a giant monster and retrieve the vortex key from its heart, which should enable the Scientist’s ship to escape this dismal place. Our hero is successful in retrieving the key and brings it aboard the ship. The little Blue Bots that have been plaguing the spectral realm for some time now are beginning to take over the spacecraft. Scientist goes to use the vortex key when suddenly a gang of Blue Bots shoot him with a laser, killing him, breaking the vortex key, and destroying the ship. As Sherwood floats around slashing at the creatures with his sword, he is caught in a tractor beam and brought on board another space vessel that Almendra has built in secret. Once on board he discovers that the rest of his friends have made it safely aboard and the vortex key has been repaired by Almendra as well. As they engage the key and enter the vortex to escape Proxima Centauri, Sherwood promises that in the future he will try to be better and make better choices to which his companions reply with laughter.
The issue ends with an epilogue. As our heroes exit to freedom through the vortex, we are shown that Scientist’s robot is safely intact within the wreckage of spaceship. It opens its eyes revealing that the mind is intact and conscious as well.
Both the writing and artwork on this series have been some of the most imaginative and thought-provoking in modern comic books today. Dalrynple has continued to dazzle us with wonderful visuals as well as an abstract story that evokes emotion deep within the reader, while also allowing them to interpret that story in a very unique and individual way. This final issue is no exception and even at the end it is uncertain what the fate of young Sherwood and his companions will be, or what has truly transpired over the course of this adventure for that matter. Has this all been some metaphoric mind trip of an adolescent institutionalized, creating this whole world in his head? Was Sherwood killed and trapped in the spectral realm along with other ghosts and apparitions? Is Scientist truly dead or was his consciousness transferred to his robot at the very end? These are just a few of the questions that we are left with at the end of the story and in his usual fashion, Farel Dalrymple leaves us with more questions than answers. This is what makes the series so unique and so very needed in the world of comic books and modern storytelling today. The emotion, the ensemble of fantastical characters, and the beautifully hand-drawn artwork will haunt the reader long after viewing. What is it really all about? Who knows, and quite frankly who cares? The joy and the genius of this title and of this final issue is in the reader’s personal and emotional journey through its pages. This title and this series may not be for everyone because of that, but it is also why it is such a breath of fresh air.
Is it good?
Proxima Centauri #6 is AWESOME!
It is the conclusion to a fantastic story about a young boy learning to deal with his emotions and reactions to others around him. While it does leave the reader with more questions than answers at the end, it gives us hope for the future of young Sherwood Presley Breadcoat and leaves the story open for further adventures.