By Patrick Wolf
Ever wanted something so bad, you’d do anything for it?—even if it meant you’d feel guilty as hell? I know this happens to me every week whenever I buy a bunch of overpriced Magic the Gathering cards. At first, I want them so bad, I’m like: “Who cares? They’re totally worth it man.” But then I buy them and realize they weren’t worth it. I’m just a moron. Well, something like this happens in this month’s installment of Extremity—just ten-times worse. How far would you go to get revenge? And is it worth the price of your soul?
After capturing Dag and his doomsday device last issue, Thea’s father is determined to get the device’s password at any cost. Will Thea do the unspeakable to Dag and his wife to turn the tides of war? Or will she rebel against her father as her brother did?
As usual, Johnson does it again with another outstanding issue of Extremity. This time, however, instead of giving us some epic battles, Johnson shows us the darker side of war. How far are we willing to go to achieve our ends? Are we willing to kill unarmed soldiers. Are we okay with murdering civilians? What about torturing POW’s? These are important questions because they’re relevant to our world right now. Was Al-Qaeda justified in killing civilians on September 11th? Was the U.S. government warranted in torturing POW’s at Guantanamo Bay? What about the recent record-breaking sniper shot made by a Canadian soldier? Is it morally permissible to kill ‘naked’ soldiers? I could go on, but I think you get the point. This is a morally laden issue with plenty of violence wrapped up in some thought-provoking questions.
That said, the issue isn’t perfect. For starters, Thea’s character could use some more development. At the moment, she seems to be a bit of a passive hero. Almost everything she does is either influenced or dictated by her father. I’d like to see Thea make some decisions on her own. Secondly, I’d also like to see her have a clear goal. I know she wants to paint and avenge her mother, but I feel she’s not as driven as her father. I hope future issues will have Thea’s actions to stem from her own desires.
Besides these few character issues, Extremity is an excellent series and worth every moment of time you spend on it. I hope in the next few issues Johnson shows us more of this fascinating world or maybe even reveals some of its history. If you haven’t already started reading Extremity, get on it. It’s definitely a great summer read.
Writer/Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics