As the final installment, “To Hell You Ride” #5 delivers a highly satisfactory and noteworthy conclusion. This is a knockout collaboration of story and art brilliantly put together. From its expressive prose to its awe-inspiring imagery, there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy the “To Hell You Ride” finale.
WRITTEN BY: Lance Henriksen and Joseph Maddrey
ART BY : Tom Mandrake
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: July 17th, 2013
Writers Lance Henriksen and Joseph Maddrey have delivered a well-written character arc for Two-Dogs, who started out as a lousy thug. Growing out of his hard-bitten shell, Two-Dogs finally breaks down his wall of isolation and loneliness. Readers finally see Two-Dogs accept his forgotten heritage and become the true hero he was meant to be. But in every tale of the tragic hero, the ultimate sacrifice must be made. Even if he is able to save the town, Two-Dogs knows he isn’t going to make it out alive.
With the entire town of Telluride falling part, Henriksen and Maddrey narrow down the tale to Two-Dogs and Shipps. Because Shipps fought in the Vietnam War, he knows that in order to save the village; you have to burn the whole thing down. After witnessing so much death, Shipps doesn’t want history to repeat itself and does everything he can to break protocol. Henriksen and Maddrey hit home with the war themes, commenting on the post 9/11 “You’re either with me or against me” mentality.
With every issue, artist Tom Mandrake has delivered such unforgettably mesmerizing imagery. I honestly believe this is his finest work yet and deserves a lot of praise. Mandrake heightens the mysticism of the Native American culture, focusing on the spirit world. There is so much little detail into the character design of the Trickster, who is made up entirely of tattoos. Not just for show, each tattoo represents something significant to the narrative’s themes.
The last pages of Mandrake’s illustrations are heartwarming and somber. Sacrifices have been made and the truth has been revealed. How does humanity put itself together after a major catastrophe? In the previous issues, any light source was used as a sort of weapon. The meaning changes when the sun finally comes out.
Each issue of the “To Hell You Ride” series has been building to this epic conclusion. After many incredible acting roles, Lance Henriksen has made an indelible stamp in his first foray into comics. I hope he continues his comics writing with another project. I look forward to seeing how artist Tom Mandrake will top this work.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis