By Jonathan Edwards
I find it funny that even though this issue literally says "end" on the last page, signifying that this is the last issue in this limited series, some sources do still list this as "4 of 5." That being said, this is indeed the last issue (at least until they go and make and sequel series, that is). The three previous issues were all a fast and fun ride, and this one keeps right in line with that all the way up to an ending that ties everything up quite nicely. Honestly, as easy as it would be for Helena's story to be followed up upon, a part of me hopes they just leave it at the way it ends here.
With Hemingway having been kidnapped by Rojo's goons, Helena finally decides to give both him and White Demon what they've been asking her for this whole time: a war. But, she's not alone. After improving her car in pretty much every conceivable way, Lobo returns to Los Fantasmas for a final stint as their leader. Despite the short amount of time we've known the gang and even shorter amount of time we've known ex-leader, Lobo's return still does remain a pretty satisfying moment. Also, Helena having her own gang backing her up is pretty badass in its own right.
And then, there's the big final showdown between White Demon and Rojo. Interestingly enough, once they start going at it, Helena's job is pretty much done. She bails, and they just keep going at it, even when it's brought up that Helena had tricked them into it. They just don't like each other that much (or, perhaps more accurately, Rojo doesn't like White Demon that much). It feels like something of a breath of fresh air when books like Justice League/Power Rangers have the villains completely get along while the heroes are busy immediately fighting one another. It's almost like bad guys are called "bad' for a reason or something. Go figure.
The art is par for the course in terms of its unique and kinetic style. One thing I noticed this time around was a few instances of decompression, and I thought it worked really well. The moments after Helena arrives at Lobo's workshop, as well as the entire end sequence feel particularly well-paced in how they let us connect more with the characters and what they're going through emotionally. And, all it took was a handful of extra panels.
Perhaps some will look at the very end of Helena Crash and say it's some kind of cop out, but I'm inclined to disagree. Without spoiling those final moments, I will say that it is still does fully result from Helena's actions. There just happened to be an added bonus she didn't consider at the time. And, I think there's some poetry in that. Before, Helena refused to take sides in order to maintain her comfort and get by, but by going against both Rojo and White Demon for the sake of saving Hemingway, she ended up on top. I have to say, that might be the perfect ending for Helena, and that's why I'm not sure I want a sequel. If you haven't checked out any of Helena Crash, I suggest you give it a shot. The trade paperback will be out in a few months, and at this point, reading all four issues back to back is probably the way to go.
Helena Crash #4