Last month we were left with a cliffhanger as Brother Karl revealed himself to Jean-Paul as Father Valley (Check out Ram V’s excellent Catwoman run!) I have been consistently loving this book so at this point I go into each issue expecting something good. The question is, can the creative team maintain their momentum as we move closer to the end?
Never you fear, dear reader. This is the best issue yet.
The last few issues have focused on building out Jean Paul’s background and introducing new elements to the story as we have known it. This month marks a switch from building to payoff. Dan Watters has finished laying the groundwork and now he can let loose. It feels like everything is beginning to converge from the first page. Here we see Brielle fully commit herself to the angel Sariel in the most brutal way as armor is permanently grafted to her body. I can already feel the impending fight with Azrael next issue.
Meanwhile, Jean-Paul confronts both himself and Father Valley and is forced to accept a truth that he had denied. Watters has been working toward this since he first started writing the character in Urban Legends and it is definitely proving to be a worthwhile journey. It’s also really cool to finally learn of Father Valley’s backstory. He was a great addition to Catwoman and I’ve been waiting to hear more from him ever since.
It can be hard sometimes to explain just what is so good about this series, especially when I don’t always agree with its direction. As an Azrael fan, it challenges my preconceptions at times but as a comic book fan, it delivers everything I could want. This is a comic that knows when to create drama, when to go for action, how to have fun without sacrificing the drama, and how to maintain a sense of gravity without being self-serious. In other words, It does just enough of everything. It has perfect balance and perfect pacing, two things that are immensely important but frequently fail to get the attention they deserve.
The art is, of course, just as effective. Last month, I mentioned that it looked like Cizmesija was getting slightly bogged down with deadlines and this month proved that theory correct as a second artist was brought in to help him catch up. Normally that would be a negative for me. I like consistency, what can I say? However, Pablo Collar’s art meshes so well that I legitimately cannot tell where one artist stops and the other starts.
Regardless of who is doing the drawing the work is excellent. There is an energy to every page that is unmatched in modern comics. I would be remiss if I failed to note how much of that energy comes from Marissa Louise on colors. The palette crackles with it. It’s an urgency that even some of my all-time favorite artists can’t evoke. Well done to all involved.
- You are an Azrael fan
- You are not an Azrael fan
- You are a living human being
I don’t know how else to say it. This series is great! If you haven’t been reading it, I sincerely hope you grab the trade when it comes out. I’ve given nothing but praise for the series already and issue 5 is the best yet! It truly is a good time to be an Azrael fan.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.