Maybe it was obvious to others, but I had no idea this was the finale of the series. I’m telling you right away so that you’re not left wondering what the fuck just happened and no one to answer the question for you. Was it an amazing ending to the series? Not really, but it made sense at least. If I looked at the series as a whole I would say that it could easily have been two more issues and that some of the condensed scenes from issue seven and eight could have been expanded; but on its own merits though the story was pretty good.
Valen is back under Douchie McBadguy’s control and he’s been given an undead army to control. His first role as the undead leader is to prove to his mind controlled troops that he’s loyal to the dead and not the living. He does this by lining up his companions to be executed by his sword. Fiona manages to help Zjanna break from the mind control spell that’s she’s under which in turn allows her to free Valen one more time. From this sequence a chain of events it’s put into play which draws the series to a close.
It is very obvious that the writing was rushed for this issue which is sad for two reasons: one, because the series had finally found its pacing and was telling great stories each issue. Two, because I’m pretty sure this issue shipped late as well. The tone of the story is intact, but everything moves so quickly on the page that you aren’t given enough time to care about what’s happening to the characters. All development of said characters stops as well which is usually okay for a finale, but there were some scenes that felt like they were finally going to plateau the character and then didn’t.
The art was the same as it ever was; I’m not in love with the style personally, but it’s technically very good. A lot of the panels came across compacted almost as if the story was cut short and then the artist wasn’t given enough room to really capture the script. One battle begins on one page, but the conclusion wasn’t shown only spoken about on the next page. If the series had been longer I think we would have gotten some great splash pages out of the final showdown.
The payoff was okay and really the story ends the only way it can, but that doesn’t mean that the journey there couldn’t have been better. It took the obvious choice which was something I commented on in an earlier review of the series as being mediocre storytelling. There were a few issues back to back from this series that were fantastic, but this finale falls a bit short I’m afraid. It’s worth reading if you’ve been keeping up on the series, but if you missed a few or are just curious then don’t bother. Also I just have to say that the last page is ridiculous, but you'll have to figure it out for yourself or ask in the comments.
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Release Date: 8/29/12