The horrors the “big one” brought to the world continue this week in Vertigo’s sequel series to the Suiciders comic. Is it good?
Suiciders: Kings of HelL.A. #3 (Vertigo Comics)
The official Vertigo summary of this issue reads:
The streets of New Angeles are dangerous, and it’s not just because of gangs like the Kings of HelL.A. protecting their turf with violence. There are other creatures, unseen predators, feeding on life through death. One in particular has a history with Leonard from back in the day when he was Suiciding under the name Coyote. As Leonard tries to create a new future for himself, he’ll realize that the past is always waiting to bite him on the ass.
Why does this book matter?
So far this series has established a very angry gang member who’s willing to cut people into pieces if need be and reintroduced an old gladiator fighter too. The streets of New Angeles are pretty dangerous, but they’re about to get more dangerous as this issue reveals a new evil lurking about.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Lee Bermejo opens this issue with a child being rescued from the rubble after the earthquake, quickly shows us what he becomes, then further progresses his story a bit more which leads to captions throughout. It’s a clever way to slowly introduce a new character who then reflects on the rest via captions which are his writing. The fact that he can reflect on the lifestyles of the characters we already know through his twisted views is telling. In a sense this issue is taking a beat to soak in what we already know as this messed up character waxes poetically. Bermajo uses this voice to remind us the world is not what it once was and violence is one of the only languages left to get your point across.
While the captions flow in their madness we are reminded what’s going on with Johnny, but a major development occurs later in the issue that brings an old gladiator back into the main story. This issue serves as a means to understanding the psychology of the characters while also progressing the plot for (I assume) a main villain, but also our heroes converging.
Something fishy is going on…
Artist Alessandro Vitti continues to do top notch work and the flashback colors by Jordon Boyd look great too. Well all the colors look great, but I do love me some distinct flashback colors to remind us of the old days. Johnny’s sneers and rage continue to be excellently rendered by Vitti, but the gladiator getup in the final pages takes the cake in this issue. He looks huge, dangerous and downright mad in his costume. The most disturbing elements in the issue work because of Vitti’s dark shadows and the almost sickly colors used.
It can’t be perfect can it?
On some level the insane captions written by an insane man do feel almost too obtuse for their own good. At times it’s downright spooky and reflective, but some of them are almost nonsensical and somewhat frustratingly pointless. Reading the ruminations of a madman can only go far and there were a few captions in this issue that made me roll my eyes and grow tired of the convention.
While the new villainous character is intriguing and introduced well the plot continues to move quite slowly. This is one of those books you can enjoy, but once you put it down and think about it you realize not a lot is going on in each issue. It makes for a read that’s interesting but not filling.
The man likes his meat.
Is It Good?
This is another good issue that introduces a new threat that’s downright chilling. The violence is glorious, but we’re reminded the psychological brutality brings the most pain.
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