In Ririr Williams’ final issues she goes to Wakanda, fights with Doctor Strange, and takes on a zombie horde in only six issues. Tough life, but somebody has to do it. In Eve L. Ewing and Luciano Vecchio’s final issues of their run, they tackle some deep character work with Riri while also branching her out in some fun team-up action. This is fun, adventurous, and how comics should be when you want to kick back and enjoy the ride.
This series may have ended on November 27th, but it will live on as it proves once again Riri is a strong and influential character for young people. This book opens with issue #7 which is a fun adventure that subtly ties us into the final arc, but starts out as a crazy zombie uprising adventure. Ewing utilizes Wasp — the younger version who also spent time in the Red Room — to amp up the techno-genius levels which play off the more brash Xavier. After fighting zombies, a clue is discovered which leads to the second issue, a good Doctor Strange team-up of sorts. Ewing plays around with magical spells and the sometimes ludicrous sounding casting Stephen uses quite well. Ewing’s handle of Strange is so strong I wonder if she should take over the main book. It’s that good. The results of this issue lead Riri to Wakanda next, which sets up the final act of the story.
The Wakanda portion of the book works wonderfully thanks to Riri and Shuri mixing like oil and water. Their personalities are very similar it seems, which sets in motion a bit of bickering and sore feelings. Ewing plays this up well so that when other characters, like Okoye, show up they notice the personalities are so similar. The story plays out well thanks to Riri, Shuri, and Silhouette getting a chance to talk about their fathers (or lack thereof). Ewing does a good job of establishing the fact that we take parts of our parentage, but it’s not necessarily who we are. This plays into the final few pages as Riri must come face to face with what it means if part of her father is part of who she is and a revelation takes place that empowers the character.
The art by Vecchio and layouts by Geoffo with colors by Matt Milla are bright and positive, suiting the character and her journey. Doctor Strange has a cool look, especially his hair, that makes him seem a bit wild. Technology has a more organic feel that reminded me of Tradd Moore’s work at times. There’s a point in the story where Riri gets powered up and the use of almost negative use of color makes her look quite cool. This book also comes with some early page art by Vecchio that shows the color in these scenes was applied before Milla had a go with them, which is quite impressive.
My only gripe is the very ending. It doesn’t quite work in part because there is no time to suss out Ririr and her father’s situation. Since it’s so rushed you kind of have to assume what Riri is thinking and how she’s processing it based on her ability to move on so quickly. That said, she’s literally face to face with her dad in a moment and instead of any talking and connecting, the book just moves on. It’s an odd turn and it makes all the build-up feel unfinished and sudden — maybe Ewing is saving this for later?
Aside from the ending, I enjoyed this collection. Riri is a fantastic character proven by Ewing and other creators who have tried their hand at writing her. The character’s potential is limitless and it reads like this is proof we’ll be seeing her soon on the big screen.