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Postal #13 Review

Comic Books

Postal #13 Review

Back in April, Postal wrapped up its third arc with a brilliant and chilling finale. Since then, we’ve been forced to suffer through three long months without what’s arguably Image Comics’ strongest current series.

This week, Bryan Hill (writer) and Isaac Goodhart (artist) finally return from the book’s hiatus with the start of a new story. Is it good?

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Postal #13 (Image Comics)

Postal #13 Review

Observations

  • HOLY #$&%!
  • (Mark is handling that splash page a lot more calmly than I would).
  • Say what you want about Mayor Shiffron’s morality/ethics, but it takes some enviable courage to make a house call on a well-armed, heavily tattooed white supremacist.
  • Ugh. No fair making me sympathy for this guy.
  • No fair making me root for him, either…
  • …even though he is kind of a badass…
  • …and so is Mayor Shiffron. Dang.

Is It Good?

Just when I think Postal may have mined all its best narrative possibilities, Bryan Hill comes roaring back with a near perfect opening chapter to what looks like another fantastic volume.

Unlike most issues in the series, the focus here isn’t on Mark. Instead, we see things playing out from the perspective of Rowan, a man who is equal parts disgusting, tragic, and (surprisingly) heroic.

Postal #13 Review

The events that take place will surely be the start of a war, but the battle here is for Rowan’s soul. Hill does a masterful job portraying his inner struggle against a backdrop of suspicion, guilt, and one hell of a good gunfight.

My only complaint with the otherwise flawless narrative is that Rowan’s depth of character seems almost too clean of a reversal…although to be fair, I’m basically asking for the entire story arc of American History X within a 22-page comic.

On the art side of things, Postal #13 may represent Isaac Goodhart’s best work on the series. His pencils and facial expressions, which were already great to begin with, are sharper and crisper than they’ve ever been. He also does a fantastic job rendering the shootout scene, which in the hands of a lesser artist could have easily been static portraits of dudes firing guns. Instead, Goodhart brings a kinetic fury to each panel, providing the reader with a visceral story of desperate violence that perfectly mirrors Rowan’s struggle with his own demons.

We also get a couple of laugh-out-loud Mark moments along with a solid reminder of why Mayor Shiffron is not to be trifled with.

Buckle up, folks. Postal is back and better than ever.

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