By Daniel Vlasaty
This is it, my friends. This is the end. The final issue of Loose Ends. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews for this series, you know how much I’ve been enjoying this series. So how does issue #4 stack up in relation to the previous three issues, but also to other books in the same genre? Does it pay off? Does it deliver on all the things it promised throughout the series? Read on for my review of Loose Ends #4.
I’ve decided to refrain from recapping the story in this review. It’s the last in a four-issue mini-series and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who might be planning on reading. I’ll just say that everything the series has been driving toward comes to a head in a Miami motel room. It’s violent and fast-paced and will leave your head spinning.
Whether that a good thing or a bad thing is what I can’t quite figure out yet. Like I said, I’ve been loving this series. But I’m torn on issue #4. I think I wanted to like it more than I did. Or maybe I was just expecting to like it more, since I was blown away by the first three issues. I’m not trying to say that I didn’t like it. I did. I just think that it was kind of a messy issue. It was rushed. And it tried to do too much in too short an amount of space.
Therein lies one of downsides to a four-issue mini-series. Personally, I like mini-series. I like that they tell a short and concise story that is easily digestible in four or five or six issues. I like that there’s a clear beginning, middle, and end. But one of the problems is, surprise-surprise, that there are only four issues in which to tell the entire story. And in all honesty, I felt Loose Ends could have used another few issues. There’s a lot of chaos and characters in issue #4 and it just gets kind of muddled together. The build-up was too great to smash it all together in some twenty-odd pages. And I felt some important pieces to the story were left underdeveloped, and just dropped into our laps without much explanation or follow-through.
The book is billed as a Southern Crime Romance, but Sonny and Cheri are never given the chance for their romance to develop. They’re never even given the chance to form any kind of relationship, aside from being on the run together. That’s something else I’m just realizing now: there wasn’t much character development throughout the entire series. We never really get into who these characters are. We do get a lot of back story but none of it seems to be all that important.
Chris Brunner’s art, though, was as good as it’s been throughout the series. It was just the right amount of frenzied and chaotic to fit the overall feel of the story. His action scenes are adrenaline-inducing. You can almost taste the action. You can feel the movement. And his panel work is some of the best I’ve seen in a while. There’s one standout panel where Flynn is spying around a corner, next to a brick wall, and each of the bricks becomes another, miniature panel showing him fighting his way through Batista’s men. It’s really something special and unique. And Rico Renzi’s colors too. They’ve kept their almost surreal-trippy feel. Especially when Flynn is present. After downing a bottle of pills everything around Flynn takes on a psychedelic color palate.
I hate to say that issue kind of missed the mark for me. It was just too hurried and rushed. And the end result was messy and confusing and slightly anti-climactic. I’m not sure why Latour and Brunner limited themselves to only four issues. Even if they gave themselves only two more issues I think Loose Ends could have been something great as opposed to just something okay or good enough. With another issue or two they could have spent more time developing the characters and setting the stage for the explosive and violent end. We could have spent some more time with Flynn to figure out what the fuck his deal was. We could have actually met Batista. We could have learned so much more, and in turn, maybe I would have enjoyed it a little more. The art definitely saved this book for me, but I’m sad to say that issue #4 of Loose Ends was one of the biggest let-downs for me this year…so far.
Loose Ends #4