By Ashley Gibbs
Here it is, Destroyer #3 brings some much needed backstory on some of the key characters in this series. I will admit I’ve been on the fence as I read the series, I liked it well enough but felt something was missing, and this was it. I wanted to know more about what lead Dr. Baker to where she is now most of all. While this issue is mainly backstory focused there is some action and violence but overall not as bad as previous issues in that regard though I do think things are really amping up to get messy.
Here we learn about the doctor’s life when she worked at The Lab, about her, and her son. Clearly a brilliant woman it was that son that became her life and took over her heart, so much so that his death changed her forever. I enjoyed the contrast of her clearly stating she’s not an “angry black woman” though she is very angry and undoubtedly for justified reasons. But it’s her son who wants peace and reminds her that she raised him to see the good in people. While yes, he is only still a child and may be naive it also shows that Dr. Baker has changed since she was simply his mother. Is she insane or just consumed by anger, we don’t know. But we do know someone is angry and that’s the creature Dr. Frankenstein created many years ago as he continues on his path to find the doctor’s descendant, Baker. While she spent the issue telling her backstory to the two agents sent to capture her, the creature made its way closer and closer to their location. A confrontation is unavoidable now as even The Lab is closing in on the situation, a combination of events I don’t think Dr. Baker anticipated when she started her mission to revive her son.
I like the use of colors in this issue, Dr. Baker and her son once had a bright life filled with hope and love. Even when things were tough they had each other and were happy. The flashbacks are notably brighter in tone than present-day scenes full of grays and darker tones. The characters are expressive and lively and the backgrounds are well done as well but it was the color work that stood out the most to me. We’re given three different flashback scenarios and each one has its own color profile that fits perfectly. Overall everything had a great aesthetic.
What we have here, when you strip away the science fiction aspects, is a tale of broken dreams. Unfortunately history and modern day events have proven that the law doesn’t always do what it should and many have lost their life because of it. Dr. Baker’s current psyche is a result of that, her innocent son gunned down by a cop and then not given any justice either. As she reads the story of Victor Frankenstein she states that perhaps he wasn’t mad with power but instead mad with grief and while the creature may not agree with her, this is definitely a reflection on how she herself feels. Destroyer #3 offers great insight into its characters, even ones that aren’t shown much. Despite the decent amount of backstory presented in this issue, there is still more to learn and I look forward to it.
Writer: Victor LaValle
Art: Dietrich Smith
Colors: Joana Lafuente
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Image Comics