Gerard Way and Shaun Simon’s “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” continues to be refreshing and incredibly original. This month’s story is packed with character transitions that gear us up for the inevitable finale. The art continues to impress and the story never stops rocking.
“Killjoys” is a rare breed. It exists entirely in its own world, characters are outside of our frame of reference, and it’s heavily stylized. Usually such elements can spell disaster for less talented teams. However, by the end of this issue you begin to understand the dynamics at play in the larger infrastructure of this world. This helps to underline character motivations, and builds the world as a character in and of itself.
The style of the book has always been a major draw. Issue 4 never loses sight of its own voice. Instead it completely wraps itself in it creating a tragic issue of loss, growth, and doubt. Every character here has the world around them betray their ideals. Each of them in different ways, but by the end everyone is in a different state of mind.
This includes the reader. Way and Simon have taken the extra steps to betray even those we thought were safe. In doing so they’ve shown us just how volatile their world is. The best thing: the safest place for our characters is the desolate wasteland of the desert. It’s a fantastic juxtaposition.
As a protagonist, The Girl finally comes into her own. She accepts some responsibility, and sticks up for herself. The result is a more focused and exciting issue. She is finally ready to become the destined leader, and better yet, she may be able to save some of these wonderful supporting players from destroying themselves.
Cloonan’s art is the things dreams are made of. I cannot imagine this series with anyone else on board. Her heavy lines and use of blacks in Battery City depict a place devoid of comfort. It alienates the reader from the characters and makes you hate the place. Everything with Korse stumbling upon his destroyed home is incredible. From the way he remorselessly bangs on the door, to his pained face in his moment of revelation. Cloonan kills it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the escape of the porno droids from Battery City. Their efforts are so hopeless, but depicted with such beauty. Page 12, 13, and 14 will leave you in awe. The paneling work that Cloonan has done is brilliant. The flow is dynamic and unlike most other things, but the right moment so dramatically owns the page, that you’ll feel broken as you read it. It’s magnificent stuff.
As “Killjoys” nears its conclusion, the quality only gets better. This issue manages to develop every character’s motivation, build the world, and create new conflicts. I’m afraid to leave this world behind; there is so much more story to tell and only two issues to go.
Rating: 4/5 Skulls