Review: 12 Reasons To Die #5

This issue changes pace in a major way. The major problem I’ve had with this series from the beginning is that the two stories though connected, never felt that way. There was this strange disconnect to them and honestly I barely picked up on their connection after the first issue. This issue connects the dots and 100% clarifies every aspect of the story. It also makes the story worth reading. At times it’s felt like reading the same issue over and over again and that’s how this issue began as well… thankfully it didn’t end that way. The issue begins with Pretty Toney aka the Ghost Face Killer aka Anthony Starks as he’s got the DeLuca’s running scared. One of the DeLuca’s men comes to him to either snuff him out or get a job, but Starks can’t trust a rat so he gives him the noose. We learn that the DeLuca’s have gone underground leaving Starks to take over the city and live it up. We see the contrasts between how the two sides are spending their time in the eye of the storm that’s brewing. The wife that Starks is sleeping with, Logan, lets him know that the DeLuca’s are returning and Starks prepares for war. Unfortunately he gives her some information that’s used against him as Lacraze beats it out of her. They set up their final meeting in an old vinyl record warehouse that Starks just purchased.

Usually I’d flip over to the other side of the story about the young record collector on a mission to collect twelve rare records, but as I said things become connected in a big way with this issue.

12 Reasons to Die #5-1I’ve been a big fan of the record collector story, but with this issue I’m a bit torn. I still tend to favor it since its taking place in the present and will surely be the focus of the final issue, but the first part was excellent this time around. The mobster lifestyle is not a story that interests me and often times they read like the same story no matter who is writing it, but with this chapter it shows potential. It was different and not all about boobies and mob bosses.  As I said in the beginning there’s been a rhyme to the series that’s made it kind of boring, but this issue jumps out of the closet and shakes things up. It really is the prefect reveal for the story and hits at just the right moment in the plot.

I always forget if the same artists work on each issue or not so I looked it up this time and yes they do. There’s also “flashbacks”, as they’re called in the book, with guest artists which I think is where my confusion comes from. For the most part though I think Breno Tamura and Gus Stroms have done a great job on the series. They’re individual styles couldn’t be more different, but they complement their own aspects of the story very well. The “flashbacks” are okay. I liked Ryan Kelly’s section because I like Ryan Kelly’s art work, but really could have used more or had Kelly close out the scene. It was a strange transition between his styles and back to Gus Storms to finish the scene and then move on to an entirely different setting.

I’m glad I stuck with this series though I doubt I would have dropped it due to its star. It’s been an interesting story and the concept has only gotten cooler with this issue. If you haven’t read the series yet then I would actually encourage you to go back to the beginning and read it from the start; it’s a great experiment in the world of comics and its one experiment that has paid off.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon Artists: Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Russel Roehling, Ryan Kelly Publisher: Black Mask Studios Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/11/13