Review: Voracious: Appetite For Destruction #4
Maribel’s mysterious past is revealed in Voracious: Appetite For Destruction #4. Nate and his friends face the monstrous Owen in a final battle for Blackfossil and the fate of two worlds.
Review Spoiler: I’m going to recommend you read the entire series. There are two trades and the four floppies of this miniseries. If you want to go in blind, just know that this series is perhaps one of the very best stories I’ve read in comic book form. If you read further there will be spoilers for the first two volumes.
Even with the above spoiler warning, I’m still hesitant to reveal too much about this story. I know, if you’ve come this far, then either you don’t care about spoilers or you’ve read every issue. Then you probably don’t care about spoilers.
But here we are.
One issue away from the finale.
Voracious: Appetite For Destruction #4 would have made for an incredible cliffhanger at the end of a series. It’s the kind of comic that wraps everything up without giving closure. It hooks the reader for the next series that you inevitably wait longer than you wanted for. Instead, Markisan Naso delivers one of his hardest-hitting issues in the comic before the finale.
This comic has a one-two punch that will leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable. The other dozen or so jabs that will wear away at any pretense you have of being an emotionless fool. You’re not. And that’s okay. It is, frankly and honestly, one of the best single issues I’ve read in a long time. There are so many different layers to this issue. Was we learn about Maribel’s past, get a hint toward Nate’s future and see Gus Horncrusher closing in on rock bottom.
There’s an inevitability to this issue. They way Naso’s words play across the page you can’t help but wonder if the writer is both talking to you directly. You may not notice it until you’ve closed the comic for the first time. But when you do you’re going to wonder if certain parts of the narration are the writer bidding farewell to you and the series. It adds another layer to the already powerful words.
Voracious: Appetite For Destruction #4 finally reveals what has only been hinted at previously: Maribel’s story. The issue splits between the flashback retelling of her story and the events of the present. Two separate tales intertwining as they rush to their meeting point. The juxtaposition of the two stories – the frantic rush and heartbreak of the present as Nate tries to make it to a certain characters side as Gus’ memory of his wife fades further against the slower biographical telling of Maribel’s story, and the gradual finding of hope and love that she finds with Nate’s grandfather – turn into one of the surprise stars of this book as Naso demonstrates a flair for comic book storytelling seldom seen.
Jason Muhr‘s art, combined with Andrei Tabacaru‘s coloring, is perfectly suited for the style of story. If there is one thing I am as impressed by in this comic other than the writing, it’s the art. The beauty of this series is that neither the art nor the writing is consistently better than the other. Muhr has been on top form the entire series. Believe me, I’ve tried to nitpick, but there’s nothing for me to find. His talent is on full display here with some phenomenal double-page spreads. They give a very whimsical retelling of the past in a detailed yet condensed way. And then there’s the penultimate page… oh boy.
And through all of this, Tabacaru adds the warmth, emotion, and panic needed to the art through his vibrant coloring. The only exception to his vibrancy is the previously mentioned double-page spreads in which he uses a sepia-like color scheme to highlight the golden memories of the past.
As one of my favorite series prepares to come to a close, the creative hit us with one of the strongest issues in the series yet. It’ll be a bittersweet moment when I get the next issue, but this has been a fantastic journey and I cannot wait to see how it ends.
Story: Markisan Naso Art: Jason Muhr Colourist: Andrei Tabucaru
Story: 10 Art 9.4 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Action Lab provided a FREE copy for review, but I have every intention of buying this book (and the trade) anyway.