Review: The Jungle Book – Last of the Species #5 (of 5)

I began to wonder about this series with the last two issues. The story kind of failed to paint a picture on how it would close out and so I waited it out. The ending has good parts, great parts and just okay parts. As a whole I still think that the last two issues could have been condensed into one issue and the rhythm of the story would have been better, but this issue closes it out nicely and sets up the story yet again for a follow-up. In fact, I’m more interested to see what the follow-up tale will be. In a strange way this entire series has been mapped out for a trilogy and I think that’s kind of cool. My gripe with this issue is that none of the humans do anything. Like none of them. In fact the resolution is basically ended by coincidence and a pending battle that was alluded to in the second issue back story that’s over as quickly as it begins.

We see a bit more of the back story to how the kids all got to the island. They were kidnapped and held prisoner by pirates. In the present we find the Tigers attacking the Elephants again without their leader… which is strange since they originally called off the attack because he was absent from the battle. Underneath the island in the caves Shere Khan and his new buds are on the run from the bears. That’s right, the bears that Baloo trapped years before have been living below and man-oh-man are they fucking pissed! There’s an explosion which frees everyone from the caves below and the bears begin attacking the elephants and tigers because they’re crazy and want blood and food. Badur the leader spots Baloo and they finish their battle that’s been brewing for a lot time now.

04APR13_cover_Page_16The ending is pretty jacked up with a lot of deaths and consequences that will affect the next volume of the series. There’s also a pretty cool cliffhanger that also changes everything about the status quo. Miller does a good job with this issue and while not every part of the story worked perfectly, it got the job done. The ending was worth the struggle and so I’d say that it was successful.

The art has been consistent throughout the series, but there always seems to be a few experimental panels that just don’t work out. In this issue there are a couple of vertical panels that force you to turn the issue and they break the flow of the story way too much. Sure they’re cool, but I don’t think they were worth it considering how immersive the reading experience was up until that point. The bears are fucking nuts looking. I mean they’re practically vampire bears and they join in on the killing and massacre in a heartbeat. There’s plenty of gore, that’s for sure.

I think the pluses outweigh the minuses in this issue and at the end of the day it was enjoyable, that’s something that’s very important to any comic book. You can be well crafted with the writing and art, but if it’s not entertaining and enjoyable on some level than it’s a fail. I’m hoping that the third volume is quick to follow this series because it’s a hell of a cliffhanger. If you missed the series you can probably grab back issues or digital copies or wait for the trade, but I don’t recall seeing it solicited anytime soon. Grab the back issues and check it out.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Mark L. Miller

Artist: Eduardo Garcia and Amin Amat

Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 7/10/13