Suicide Risk is one of those books, the end of which I increasingly want to see unfold, while I simultaneously grow less interested in the journey getting there. This title has a bevy of elements I really enjoy in my modern superhero books: an interesting concept about the true nature of so-called “superheroes” (all of whom inevitably go rogue for some reason) being slumbering gods, a core cache of characters whose mysteries evolve with each passing issue and the twisted wonderment of a humanity suffering from the fresh scars of brushing up alongside a new “race” of gods, the majority of which are clustered in America for some, still unknown reason.
And yet, it still feels like something is missing; like the story is spending too long scratching at its own surface without yet daring to go much deeper. I understand that we have only now just reached its seventh issue, but even still, it’s like this thing is waiting for its “break-out” issue, where the story turns past the corners it has set itself up against.
Don’t get me wrong, there are flashes of brilliance in Suicide Risk, and I personally believe it works best in its quieter nods to the mystery and power at its underpinnings; its hints to the greater wellspring of story. At the same time, though, it feels like the main narrative has taken a significant detour around its own world-building and I’m afraid it’s going to get lost completely if it doesn’t get back on track soon.
Issue seven continues to follow Leo Winters, a cop who, in a fit of desperation, became the keeper of illegally-procured, black-market gravity superpowers. Then again, he might actually be the morally-vacuous, reality-warping and apparently memory-less god known as Requiem. Amnesia: it’s a mother fucker.
Last time, Leo met up with and was forced to join the ranks of a gaggle of similarly-powered, yet much more overtly evil super-people called Nightmare Scenario. This issue sees him aiding and abetting his new “friends,” watching on (in disgust, mind you) as they stage a pretty goddamn bloody coup d'état in Mérida, capital city of perhaps Mexico’s most idyllic state, Yucatán.
As they fry and/or feed on suckas with reckless abandon, Leo tries to keep his head down and discover more about his life, his powers and his past, as the memory of each begins to resurface ever-more clearly in his harried mind. Meanwhile, as his family waits patiently in the figurative dark for his return, his daughter has begun to show further progression within her own new powerset; abilities that could either “open new doors,” or spell certain doom for the Winters brood.
The issue ends with a twist that comes out of nowhere, and I have to say it feels put there just so that there’s some sort of surprise, even if it’s not necessarily a dynamic-changing one. Still, as a whole, and like the rest of the series thus far, this issue of Suicide Risk is fine; not life-changing or especially memorable, but it does the job.
In terms of art, Cassagrande’s stuff this issue has shown improvement from previous issues, enjoying a much lighter visual pace that is more accepting of its own minimalist style, rather than fighting to inject too much definition from afar. It feels less fettered, I suppose, and that makes it more fun as an artistic experience. Her massively super-powered overtures are particularly impressive this time, though admittedly they are few, and I think more of this would perhaps ratchet up the sleeping wow-factor of the book.
Overall, I’m pretty interested to see where this title goes in the end, but I guess I’m currently not overly enthused with the way it’s taking to get there. Saying that, I am divested enough to follow along and to stick with it, mostly because I still think it has (and deserves) a chance to impress, with a premise which has, at very least, continues to pique my curiosity.
Writer: Mike Carey Artist: Elena Casagrande Colorist: Andrew Elder Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/6/13