Story: Garth Ennis
Art: Goran Sudzuka
Colors: Ive Svorcina
Letterer: Rob Steen
What They Say:
Assistant-Director Driscoll makes the most startling discovery of all: unspeakable horror has not broken loose. Shaw, McGregor and their comrades are not doomed and damned. Hell itself is not about to spill over into our world. Humanity can breathe a collective sigh of relief…just as soon as one last nagging question is answered.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
There are times here when reading this book that you really find yourself feeling like some of the characters in it, just unable to listen to it anymore. There’s something to be said for works that engage in depravity so that it can be understood, explored, conquered and worked with. Garth Ennis has long worked in these kinds of dark areas to solid success and I can imagine that there’s a really strong story here when it’ll be all done to understand. One that definitely is well-captured by Goran Sudzuka’s artwork as it has that kind of grim and bleak element to it in both the characters and the minimalist settings for much of it. Which is made even more intense by Ive Svorcina’s color design that takes it to the next level.
The bulk of this story focuses on Paul as he tells his tale to Shaw and McGregor in this otherspace where his lawyer is also present as well. The lawyer is actually interesting as he’s quiet the whole time but as more and more details are revealed, he ends up just choking to death on himself because of how terrible everything Paul relates is. The reveal that the lawyer and his firm have been protecting him for almost three decades makes clear the layers of protection that are out there, but it also delves into how Paul apparently had quite a lot of help and supporters for whatever reasons he claims that have made it easy to get away with it all across so many states and for so long. That kind of grand conspiracy is the kind of fiction that’s often fun to watch be revealed and it does have a certain element of that here if not for…
He relates everything from his childhood when he killed his parents and one of his siblings and then gets into his journey as a ward of the state in hospitals and more. And his time afterward. But it’s just so bleak and grim that it doesn’t warrant repeating here or examining. There are works that handle this well, notably the Mindhunters show on Netflix, but Ennis doesn’t give us an outlet here. Shaw and McGregor have no way of letting loose the steam building inside because of how this is orchestrated, hence why the lawyer just up and dies from it all. And for the reader, you feel more like the lawyer than the investigators. Partially because you had no idea what this book was going to be like at the start and with each reveal it just makes you feel worse and worse.
I really hope there are answers to all of this, and I kind of hope that there isn’t too much more left to the run. I want to know what the point Ennis is trying to make and I’m invested enough in it to keep going, but it’s sapping my will to continue with installments like this.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: March 6th, 2019