Story: Si Spurrier
Art: Nathan Gooden
Colors: Addison Duke
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
1899: Answers will be unearthed. Is Nettie’s boy alive? What vile crime lies behind the darkness that festers in the bloody dirt of the cursed valley? And what foul beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Brokehoof to be born?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having missed the previous issue, going into the finale is a little tough but Si Spurrier has done a solid job in setting up so many events early on and giving us rich and intriguing characters that it’s easy enough to get into this issue. Once it got rolling with the characters themselves it definitely worked better and it continues to expand to show us what’s going on in this area and with these people. Spurrier has Nathan Gooden here on the artwork, whose work on Barbaric recently really blew me away. Here, he’s working a completely different thing in a number of ways but it still adheres to that kind of grim and grimy world of those scraping out an existence. It has a really great sense of detail, hardened character designs, and a sense of being lived-in in all the worst ways to give it some solid authenticity.
The initial piece here that sets the tone is really well done as Nettie deals with her son, or what he’s become or inhabiting at this point. And even then it’s something where it’s very limited control overall as we see him talking with her, forgetting who she is, and almost enacting violence upon her. It’s a tough sequence as we see how he fell to this and the change he went through which for Nettie is just piling on the guilt she feels for failing him. But she does remember the important words told to her about how children have to go into the world and find their own way and how hard it is to let go. But Nettie is asked to do the hardest thing here, with Caleb making it clear that he wants her to end his suffering, and she has to follow through on it because of what he has become. Gooden illustrates this so well and with such emotion through it, especially with how Duke’s coloring ties it all together, that it’s heartbreaking.
With it being made clear what dark act started all of this some time ago with the inspector, the way to bring it to a close has become obvious in helping to bring the creature that he nearly killed to be able to bring it to a close. It’s reaching through other beings in order to achieve that and Nettie is ready to be the sacrifice, feeling like she has so little left anyway, but it’s MP who steps up here, revealing the secrets he’s held and taking that place. Nettie does get to participate in a way that certainly helps to bring an end to this place, and it’s just a heartrending sequence as everything unfolds and we get this kind of simple closure. Nettie’s story in coming to find Caleb and bring her son home did not end anywhere near how she thought it might, and it had a few ways to go, but seeing it take this kind of surreal direction is far more engaging than one might realize.
The Rush is a strong series that delivered issue after issue. Spurrier’s done some really solid work in this kind of supernatural area before but this one, especially with Gooden and Duke’s artwork, just felt elevated in a way to me. The richness of the artwork brought the characters and story to life beautifully and those small moments really drive home the emotion of events and what the characters are going through. This is a really good book that tells a complete tale that will be memorable for a lot of reasons, which makes it very easy to recommend as a whole.
Series Grade: A-
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: May 25th, 2022