The XII #5 (of 5) Review
• Patrick Trahey (Author) • Luis Suarez (Pencils)
Sometimes I hate Alterna Comics. I currently have a subscription and I often get new comics in the middle a run or at its conclusion. The comics in mid-story (Tinseltown, BloodRealm) have been so good that I had to stop what I was doing and immediately order the rest of the series or trade paperback. The single issues are very well written and affordable. It's a great problem to have. If you haven't guessed it by now I don't really hate Alterna Comics, they are generally awesome.
I wish that other comic book publishers would take a step back, check out Alterna and then re-access how they structure their series. That's probably the greatest praise that I can an editor and publisher. Every issue has urgency and quickly establishes stakes within the world. This in turn quickly invests the reader making it hard to walk away from the series, especially at the $1.50 cover price.
In recent weeks I've had comics that either blow the setup, fail to move a story along or forget that every issue is someone's first comic and then completely alienate new readers.
I was blown away by The XII #5 from it's opening panel to the concluding page. This issue seemed to be an epic conclusion a pretty grim story arc. What you have here is a man caught between a rock and a hard place being forced to make a tough decision protect his family.
What makes the situation even worse is how bleak the choices are here. I'm a father of 4 and could relate to the feelings conveyed on the page. It's palpable and the decisions that Caleb comes to in the end are logical. I totally understood the eventual conclusion.
The art from Luis Suarez & Peter Simeti conveys a lived-in world. It's a post-apocalypse on the verge of possible recovery. The nearest comparison I can think of would be the Fallout video game series. The colors are bright and the orange tones for the series create a distinct look. It also offers a chilling contrast to the otherwise horrific narrative.
If you're a fan of the post apocalyptic setting in fiction I can't recommend this issue enough. I happened to have this trade on my pull list so I will be diving into the series soon enough. It is a great single issue that casts a spotlight into what a single issue is supposed to be.