Clichés are like getting a hug from a writer. A fuzzy warm embrace that tells you everything in the world is exactly as you’d expect it to be. Though not particularly challenging to readers, clichés handled well, like in The Last Contract, can still create an entertaining and compelling story. Levels on levels! Ed Brisson is the spoon man, feeding us small bits of story at a very pleasing pace. It’s been 20 years, we learn, since open season on cops and their families and now we finally have the great horror in the past that weaves this collection of characters together. And, despite the blood thirsty gangsters capping everyone under the moon attached to said horror, us fortunate readers get a glimpse of true vulnerability within their entire organization. It’s kind of refreshing!
In this is a dark and gritty Canada the coloring really stands out; asserting itself in what I will use my super non-art educated brain to classify as ‘layered opaque’. Ooh la-la (said in French Canadian)! Lisandro beautifully marks each character who’s tied to the underworld with aged faces, lined with the stress that such a life would bring. Not to say that every innocent character getting wrapped up in this macabre world is cherub faced buuuut…
I’m certainly glad that the character pool is deepening. Revenge stories can become so telescopic, with our hero chopping or shooting his or her way through nameless (may as well be faceless) hoods/hit-men/ninjas/goons to get to the one top villain that we are supposed to hate. By introducing some vulnerability to the mobster’s organization it inevitably humanizes them and puts something at risk for them. No longer nameless, no longer faceless, we get some actual motivation and depth.
And it’s for the better.
The Last Contract #2 Writer: Ed Brisson Artist: Lisandro Estherren Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/10/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital