I can’t help but open this comic every month and immediately get pissed when I see Charlie enter the panel. Maybe you are supposed to like him as a main character or sympathize with him every once in a while. But I can’t. I can’t seem to care about him. I also can’t be the only one who thinks this. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have this way of making the reader’s emotions all rush together at once when reading their stories. That is certainly the case with Charlie. Even the way he is drawn makes me angry. It is like he has two emotions: depressed and horny. And please don’t read my anger as frustration towards this comic. Again, the way this story holds you by your shoulders and shakes you up a bit makes me come back for more each month. Things are really heating up with these past two issues. Something big is building. You can feel it in narration and see it on the characters’ faces. I don’t exactly know what will happen though and that makes it all the more exciting. So besides for a small couple pages with Dottie and Ty, we spend most of our time with Charlie and Maya. Yeah that annoyed me last issue too. Our narrator is talking for the most of the issue too. These are usually my favorite Brubaker moments. He has this way of giving the narrator all the power. The narrator controls your emotions and your thoughts, all the while you see this story unfold in the background. And the story could be different. The characters could be different. The setting could be different. Yet here we are watching Charlie and Maya’s relationship come together/break apart. Charlie has a reputation and in my opinion, it is being stupid. He jumps from one thing to next to get his mind off of Val. Then the next moment all he wants to do is think of Val. He is struggling hardcore.
What confuses me the most is Maya. We get a sense of Charlie’s motivation and maybe there is more to it but still we know the gist. Maya is the mystery. Just like all these women are the mysteries to Charlie. Why is Maya with Charlie? Why is she essentially playing him? Or is she not playing him? Does Charlie have this “it” factor that she can’t get enough of? Then it makes you think of Val’s story. Because this is what it is all about right? Find out what happened to Val.
Maya and Charlie spend lots of time together but the moment the separate, things get real for Charlie. He runs into some trouble, but the real story is after the trouble is gone. All of the emotions that Charlie felt after Val’s death come rushing back. So again, we are in the same spot. Charlie is having major issues and Maya is small distraction for him. And yeah you guessed it; I still hate Charlie and wish Maya could see it. Maybe it is wrong of me, but Gil still wins out as best friend. Whatever happens, everyone has buried themselves into these gigantic holes and are trying desperately to fill them in with dirt.