What continues to impress me about this series is that it never quite goes the way you think it will. It’s not so much of a zig instead of a zag, but more like body builders moved your car to a different part of the parking lot while you were inside a store. This issue was very good. Was it what I expected? Not at all, but Spencer and company have definitely done more good than bad in my opinion with where they took the story.
In the last issue we were left with two pages of great visuals that revealed what Red had been up to while tagging along with Detective Ramira. Red sits down with the ex-Priest and so begins a battle of understanding. I wouldn’t call it a battle of wits since Red only plays one “card” the entire time, but he’s there to understand the Priest. Only through understanding him more can he hope to stop the mayhem at the hospital.
At the hospital, Alex is still on a murdering rampage. The First jumps in on him and proves why he’s the greatest hero the city has ever seen… Not really. He actually gets his ass kicked by Alex the naked eunuch angel with wings, leaving the reader to wonder a great deal of things about The First. What came to my mind first, was how old the character is under their mask. He’s clearly a hero past his prime and very reminiscent of an aged Batman that thinks less and hits more.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a clear idea of where the story was going after the last issue, but it wasn’t in this direction at all. The ending was strange and even stranger was the confirmation that Press is in fact Madder Red. Spencer hasn’t exactly hidden that fact, but there have been some red herrings of sorts that had me questioning if there was something else to Press. I enjoyed the conversation that drives the entire story, it was interesting and as I said it was a typical battle of the wits. Red isn’t trying to outthink the Priest, but simply please him in order to stop the violence.
The art and story don’t shy away from the subject matter that’s for sure. When Alex is in the hospital, it’s a scary scene. At one point he stares down at a woman that is begging for her life and she has wet herself. There are dead bodies and blood everywhere and although it’s over the top and has two characters in costumes (naked is a costume right?) the visuals that Rossmo provides are still haunting.
What scares me about this issue is that the story could easily end here. I hope it doesn’t because I feel as if there is so much more to be told and done with this universe (It’s solicited for issue #7 at least). Red has quickly become one of my favorite characters and I, much like the Priest, “I need more.” Hopefully, you’ve been following along with this series and we can all expect the next issue the following month. If not, then I would highly recommend that you get caught up on what’s been one of the best new series from Image Comics.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 4/3/13