By Mike Badilla
In this issue we find Warren behind bars, viewing the passersby from his cell window. It's the holiday season, with the town decorated and snow falling and people bustling around doing holiday shopping. Warren is reminiscing about how he missed the holidays, and how he wishes he had taken a different path in life. Which allows us a rather interesting look into Warren's imagination, seeing Warren, Crane, and Alice all gathered around a Christmas tree opening presents while Warren records a home movie and looking like a super normal family. Crane comes to the cell door and overhears him muttering, leading them into a discussion about how much Warren liked the Scrooge story from holidays past. Crane is not amused and tells Warren that she always liked the Grinch.
Warren tries to explain that both stories involve the towns forgiving both the Grinch and Scrooge in the end, which infuriates Crane. She angrily tells Warren that both characters actually asked for forgiveness and admitted their wrongs to the people they hurt and did not murder anyone, of which Warren has murdered and never admitted wrongdoing. There is more back and forth and Crane asks Warren to finally be truthful with her and tell her what really happened. Warren obliges and goes into a full blown flashback as to where the whole nailbiting thing started. He even heads into the part about why he got caught, as well as how he got his way to an acquittal. Crane is so relieved to finally hear the truth that she forgives Warren and kisses him through the bars...
Except that's not what happened at all. That was back in Warren's imagination. Instead, we snap to reality where Crane is still asking Warren to finally tell her the truth, of which he declines. Crane tells him that neither Alice nor Finch are pressing charges for the things that happened in the last issue, so he's free to go.
I can't go any further. If you've read my review for 25 you know how much I like this series as well as how much I want you, the reader and fan of the same series, to experience this for yourself. Does that make for a lame review? Possibly. I hope not, as I would hope the lamer (more lame?) review would have the entire issue spread out on the table for you. This issue takes some major turns that I got a real kick out seeing for myself and will not be the ruiner for others, even if that makes this a crappy review. I didn't even want to reveal the whole kiss part not being real, but then this whole thing would have been painfully short and Dustin would probably scold me.
The art as always is great. It's not fantastical or heavily detailed or anything, but Mike Henderson knows what to do with this world he's helped create. Everything is just enough art-wise, not too realistic but by no means too slapstick. People look like people, environments look like environments, wounds and chewed off fingers and creepy serial killers look how they all should. The story by Joshua Williamson continues to impress and intrigue, and this is one that I'm going to re-read relatively often. If you like serial killer stories, small town mysteries, cop drama... pick this book up. Volume 5 should be out soon if not available already.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Mike Henderson
Colorist: Adam Guzowski
Publisher: Image Comics