Review: Leftovers #5

The fifth issue of Leftovers continues the three-part story of “The War for Kaleb.” In the first chapter of the story we meet Kaleb, but the strange thing was that a yellow and blue superhero version of himself followed him around everywhere he went. We also learned that he was on medication, but this causes a problem with his new girlfriend because he doesn’t know if it’s him or the pills that have fallen in love with her. After going off the pills we see a second caped man in black and red. Complicated I know, but it was a fantastic issue that had me looking forward to this second part of the story.

Instead of picking right up where we left off the story actually jumps to Kaleb’s past as he talks about his love for, you guessed it, comics and toys. Eventually he ends up wearing a blanket as a cape, but his mother being awesome decided that instead of washing a bunch of sheets that she would just make him his own costume… and so she does.

Leftovers-#5-11.17.14Eventually we pull out of this flashback and find the adult Kaleb telling the tale to his girlfriend. He’s still off his medication and so he’s seeing the two versions of himself. We can really see that Kaleb is breaking down as his girlfriend explains what “leftovers” are and it sparks some anger in Kaleb.

There so much more going on in this story, but to really digest it and explain it I would need to tell you the entire issue and frankly that’s not interesting.

The writing is deep and pulling from the real world and yet creating this imaginary world at the same time. Are the two men in Kaleb’s head? Are they an extension of his emotions? Is he bi-polar? There’s a lot of possibilities. Creator Jason Pittman has a fantastic writing voice. He really puts you into Kaleb’s mindset, but then also the supporting cast as well. You feel for him, but then you also feel for his friend and girlfriend for what they’re going through trying to help him.

Overall I really love how this is a superhero story, but then it’s not at all. It’s really not because our hero Kaleb and anti-hero Kaleb are extensions of his personality and nothing more. The focus is on Kaleb and what he’s dealing with now that he’s gone off his medication. Again, Pittman puts last year’s Polarity to shame.

The artwork plays a vital role in the success of the story. It’s mostly in black & white with the exception of the two caped characters. They’re always in color which makes them pop from the page. The flashback is in full color which I wasn’t expecting, but it worked well with that segment of the story. It’s strange, but the coloring really gave it a story book vibe. I really enjoy the way that Pittman has the two capes fight and break walls and yet everything else in the scene continues on as if nothing is happening. The reason being is that this could easily clutter the panels and make it a visual mess to look at, but that’s not the case. Instead it remains clean and concise like the rest of the issue.

The nice thing about Leftovers is that you don’t need to go back and get the previous four issues, just the last issue. Granted you should want to check out the other stories, but “The War for Kaleb” is otherwise a great place to start. Frankly speaking I love the world that Pittman has created and I can’t wait to see how it concludes.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Jason Pittman Price: $4.00 Website