This is a tough issue to review. I don’t want to say too much in the way of spoilers because then you won’t read it yourself. Then again, I have to say something so that my review will make sense and be worth reading itself. The ending of the third issue revealed who our villain of the story was. There unfortunately wasn’t another twist to be had and it left me thinking that this series may have been better off as three issues rather than four. Because the reveal already happened it just leaves the character’s motivation to be explained and really once you know the character you can figure out the motivation yourself.
There’s a lot of emotion attached to the ending. I liked that part and I liked the fact that our main character isn’t left in a better situation than he started. If anything he’s in a worse place mentally. That bit was good, but the story stumbles getting there.
The fact that two people couldn’t overpower one person with a disability seemed a little comic booky, but the rest of the scene was rather smart. Even though our villain monologues a bit he was still smart in how he handled it, taking away their weapons in a believable fashion to keep the advantage. I just think that if both characters being held at gun point are willing to die a hero’s death then both should just charge head first right away.
Still though, this was a solid pulp story. It called back to the hey-days of pulp comics in a modern way which is something major publishers fail to do yearly with classic pulp properties. I also imagine that read altogether this story will translate better and so if you haven’t read it at this point you have the advantage of being able to either pick up all four issues or the trade when it becomes available.
John Bivens artwork really shines in the finale. There are a lot of dynamic action sequences that felt heavy. That is to say that punches look painful and when people get knocked down they don’t just spring up and take another pop to the jaw.
Overall I’ve enjoyed Old Wounds. It was entertaining from the beginning and remained so until the end. Maybe the twists and turns weren’t as sharp as I was hoping, but even then it’s a series that has stood out over a lot of pulp and superhero stories out there. Give it a shot if you’re looking for a solid modern pulp/superhero mystery.