Review: ’12 Reasons To Die’ #5

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With a shocking plot twist, “12 Reasons To Die” #5 continues to defy expectations and surprise horror fans about what’s to come. After keeping the suspenseful mystery going at a steady pace in the previous installments, the latest revelation takes the “12 Reasons To Die” series in a different direction. Full of ambition, Ghostface Killah presents a bigger and clearer picture to readers about what his first foray into comics should be.

WRITTEN BY: Ghostface Killah, Adrian Younge, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, Ce Garcia
ART BY: Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Joelle Jones, Ryan Kelly, and Russel Roehling
PUBLISHER: Black Mask Studios
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: December 11th, 2013

In the first tale, “The Lead Years,” Anthony Starks and his Black Suits have finally won the mob war, scaring off rival bosses and drug kingpins. After making himself a made man, Anthony has accomplished his goals but now wants to live a different style of life. Before he can go legit, Anthony has to face his biggest obstacle, his own Black Suits. In the second tale, “The Dead Years, ” the record hunter, Migdal, discovers the origin story of the rare item he has been looking for. Behind the lyrics of the Devil’s music, something pure evil has been lurking inside the cursed record. Facing heavy competition from a mysterious slasher, Migdal has to get his hands on the last remaining record.

In “The Lead Years,” writers Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon have developed Anthony Starks from a power-hungry crime boss to an exhausted leader. The strain of being on top and number one in the game has taken a toll on Anthony, who has everything he wants and more. Now Anthony has to destroy everything about his old life before he can live a new one. Before he can go legit, Anthony has one last trick up his sleeves to play against his most-hated enemies.

In my favorite tale, “The Dead Years,” Migdal finally discovers where the Devil’s record came from. Interestingly, in this installment, Rosenberg and Kindlon explore how the record owner’s life has gotten better and richer. After leaving his past behind, the record owner has lived to see his family grow and now has grandchildren. It makes the twist sadder and more surprising as the masked killer comes hunting for him.

In “The Lead Years,” artist Breno Tamura captures the gangster clothing, with the sharp suits and the stylish hats. A major shootout happens in the background when Anthony lights his cigarette. My favorite part of Tamura’s illustrations is when Anthony ties a man’s neck to the trunk of his car. The rope pulls back, along with the victim, as the car speeds forward across the street.

The best part about “The Dead Years” is how artist Gus Storms lets loose on the gore with the masked killer. In a big panel, the masked killer stands, drenched in blood, next to the decapitated body. To demonstrate his twisted sense of humor, the masked killer places the chopped head on a silver plate. Mid-way through the narrative, Storms adds to the death count at a birthday party where all the guests die in a variety of inventive kills.

A major plot twist takes place in “12 Reasons To Die” #5 that horror fans should not miss out on. As the “12 Reasons To Die” series heads to a new direction, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next story arc.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis