Well this marks the end of the first Darby Pop series since the imprint started at IDW this year. It was the one I was looking forward to the most as the concept was pretty flipping cool. It had a shaky beginning, but then the last two issues have been pretty amazing if I do say so myself. With this being the last issue the question became, could it finish strong or would it repeat the failures of the first issue? Ben is on the run with his friend Owen who may not have been on the up and up with him about the eyes and the Golden Shield program. Owen discovers that the second phase isn’t what he expected either, but as the two men met Owen is shot. Now Owen is a martyr for Callahan’s cause, he label’s Ben as a terrorist and rolls out phase two of Golden Shield which is unmaned drones, helicopters and spider looking things that run on a closed system. Meaning Ben has no access to it… but he’s got a plan.
I wish I could say that it’s a good plan, but it’s pretty basic. This final issue plays on the fear of technology going too far and the government using it to take away individual freedom’s based on profiling. Ben saves the day at a cost and really that was the part that I found pretty ridiculous. There is a question about the ending as its left open for interruption, but it really didn’t need to be. It came across as filler more than story content, especially when a character that had zero importance to the story is who we end with. Sure she was there from the beginning, but the story never used her outside of the “love interest” role.
It’s a shame that this series ended in the most basic way. There was no surprise because it became clear right away what was going to happen. The problem was that it didn’t need to happen that way. Also it was a bit of stretch to label Ben as a terrorist when he wasn’t the one holding the gun. It’s like killing Bruce Wayne’s parents and then saying he did it… no one would buy that either.
The art is good, but it’s also been the most consistent thing about this series. The funny thing is that the art changes with this issue, but it's actually kind of better because of it. It’s really hard to say anything bad about the art at all.
To answer the question I posed in the beginning… it doesn’t finish strong. It’s back to the awkwardness of the first issue and that’s the real shame. If this story ends up in Hollywood, which I wouldn’t be surprised by at all, you can count on a rather larger rewrite of the weakest points of the story.
Writer: Eric Garcia Artist: Michael Montenat Publisher: IDW/Darby Pop Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/28/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital