Ei8ht #5

The fate of the Meld is at stake. It’s time to stop running. 

Writer:
Rafael Albuquerque
Mike Johnson
Artist:
Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher:
Dark Horse

Competency. With so much happening these days, it’s so hard to read something so polished. Even if it doesn’t quite reach the highs promised by the initial few issues, Ei8ht is so magnificently concluded I can almost forgive it.

The key selling point of the issue is, as it has been the whole series, the artwork. Rafael Albuquerque ragged; kinetic artwork draws the eye to the page and makes you want to keep reading panel after panel.

I’ve spoken praises about this before and I’m happy to repeat it again. The way he makes all the different time periods work with the colouring is a masterclass in subtly- even scenes that don’t show a skyline find a way to indicate what time period they are a part of, by utilising broad brushstrokes in the background or by incorporating it into the clothing of characters or a part of a key object. The effect is such that it’s effortless to keep track of what is happening, something that is a lot easier said than done and which makes it all the more impressive.

The only real let down in the story itself, which ends in a climatic showdown with the Nazi villain that when defeated makes the enemy forces crumble. There is a twist in how the battle is resolved that reminds me of the best of pulp fiction, but it’s still a let down after the setup which promised something a bit more complex.

Talking spoilers as well, there’s also that ending which, well… isn’t an end. Now usually the promise of something more from a series I’ve enjoyed would have me salivating, but Ei8ht honestly feels like it should have stayed as a mini series and wrapped up all it’s plot points so everyone could move onto something else. The concepts introduced to the series are great ones that work because of their simplicity and how they leave some questions unanswered for the mind to ponder. If the series returns (and the ending caption suggests a return is not too far away) I fear everything will be given an explanation where none is needed.

That small niggle is the only real complaint I have about what is otherwise a great little mini series. Dynamic, stylised to the hilt and with an intriguing world, Ei8ht is modern pulp done right to a level few can match.

Cover image courtesy of Dark Horse

Ei8ht is available from Dark Horse

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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