Following Bill’s explosive decision in Heavy #4 and his ensuing incarceration for an untold amount of time, it’s time for this Heavy to meet God. Of course, this being the universe of Heavy, God is not at all what you would expect.
I’ll admit, the reveal of God as essentially a big kid with too much power and all of time on His hands would probably cause me to roll my eyes in most other series. However, God’s identity feels very much earned by the way Heavy has always approached the concept of divinity. In Heavy, God is eternally innocent and infallible, but also clever enough to get other people to do the worst parts of His job for them.
That’s just the beginning of this issue’s big swings. Following four issues in which high concepts are constantly slapping the reader in the face, this issue deploys all of the series’ concepts at once. The result is an ambitious issue that is occasionally difficult to follow, but which cleverly reframes the rules of its universe in ways that don’t break the narrative. Heavy is still playing by the rules that writer Max Bemis has set for it, albeit in ways that are still surprising and challenging.
Where this issue really excels is the continuing development of Slim as a character. As mentioned before, an ambiguous (but significant) amount of time has elapsed since Bill destroyed the Big Wait, and in that time, Slim has continued to serve in the interests of the Man Upstairs. He’s also had more time to reflect on where he went wrong in the land of the living, and it’s clear that it has changed him.
In a series jam-packed with bombastic action sequences and soul-searching moments, the sight of Slim breaking down and crying might be the most emotionally effective moment of the series. Eryk Donovan makes the cold-hearted killer look positively pathetic, and the look of almost pleasant surprise on Bill’s face says so much about how far these two characters have come since they began working together. It also begs an important question: is redemption really possible in the Big Wait, after all?
Without spoiling the final page, it is clear that the first few issues of the series have been leading specifically to this moment. All of the little seeds that have been planted and rules that have been established are beginning to pay off in surprising ways. Of course, with all of the dimension-hopping and time-traveling in this issue (as well as all of the hand-wringing and arguing from Bill that comes with it), there were a few points in the issue where I got completely lost and found myself re-reading a section or two. I have a feeling that the next story arc will partially focus on untangling a lot of these questions.
Nevertheless, Heavy #5 continues the series’ streak of surprising the reader with just how twisted the afterlife can be. This issue reframes the idealized life that Bill has been clinging to since he began his work in the Big Wait, and it may change how readers view the character (even more than his actions in the previous installment). It doesn’t look like Bill will be getting his big break any time soon, but the last image of this issue should have readers curious to see what comes next for the Worst Heavy Ever.
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