The Losers: Endgame – Andy Diggle

Losers 5This is the conclusion of a great ride. The shit hits the fan as it all goes nuclear.

There are some quite surprising twists here. Max has an interesting development that you don’t see coming and the extent of his plan is audacious in the extreme. This isn’t the usual slugfest finale of many a lazy writer.

The whole thing seems well researched and for a conspiracy theory story it feels surprisingly authentic. There is a disappointing moment of exposition where it all bogs down as the plot is revealed through a massive monologue. Diggle could and should have handled this better but it is over quickly and relatively painlessly.

The art is really good and has gained more detail over the volumes but it isn’t applied consistently. The backgrounds often have more detail than the characters. There are some excellent full page spreads at key moments and really intelligent uses of colour.

This is a deeply political book,it has a lot to say about the world around us and the conviction to shout about it. Because it is a comic it slips under the radar and can get away with calling spades spades. There are some important lessons to think about after you finish reading.

A great end and a high Thumbs Up!

362/3

Tomorrow: Fables (17): Inherit the Wind – Bill Willingham

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The Losers: Close Quarters – Andy Diggle

Losers 4This is a fantastic volume that builds on the success of the previous ones. All the pieces are falling into place and the mad dash for the final showdown has begun.

We travel to England, which for many an American writer would be their undoing. But as a native Diggle has no trouble portraying a realistic setting and unearthing some of the more remarkable parts of it.

The art is great and receives a good deal of spit and polish. The ragged style is gone in favour of much smoother lines. The panels are dynamic to the point of chaotic and the visuals really click with the essence of the story.

Another great Thumbs Up!

361/4

Tomorrow: The Losers: Endgame – Andy Diggle

The Losers: Trifecta – Andy Diggle

Losers 3This series keeps getting better and better. We have reached the halfway point and it is time for the origin story. What really happened on Operation Draw Venom? Well now you know and it proves to be just as complex as everything else in these muddy waters.

Some more artistic talent joins the team and art style gets a little less blocky with some finer lines and more detail being added. The origin story is told as a flashback which has a curious washed-out look and some unusual shading to it.

Another good volume that ensures you definitely want to stay to the end. Thumbs Up!

360/5

Tomorrow: The Losers: Close Quarters – Andy Diggle

The Losers: Double Down – Andy Diggle

Losers 2The first book was all action and let you down by lack of character development. This corrects that with each character getting some attention and Pooch in particular getting a fleshed out family. The action is still there and because you are getting to know and care about these people it makes it more effective. The humour and occasional pop culture reference really draw you into this world and give you plenty to invest in.

The politics is as blatant as ever. You could easily see this as a Garth Ennis or more likely Micah Ian Wright work. The prescient quotes at the end of each volume show you this is more than just a brainless action-fest and there is a message you need to take note of.

The art is good but the garish blocks of digital colour don’t do it any favours. The thick lines and low detail do add a certain cartoonish charm that complement the over-the-top action but much of the good ideas are painted over.

A really enjoyable work that appeals on many levels and brings its own style. Thumbs Up!

359/6

Tomorrow: The Losers: Trifecta – Andy Diggle

The Losers: Ante Up – Andy Diggle

Losers 1A Special Forces unit goes on the run from their masters who tried to kill them and… well you know the rest.

This is a romp. Undoubtedly an action-adventure romp. Part Ocean’s Eleven, part A-Team, here is a wild and wonderful ride. With a twisty turning plot, Hollywood violence and plenty of explosions this will make you smile, and chuckle too. Characterisation is reduced to a series of shortcuts but that never stopped James Bond so why should it inconvenience us. It begins in the middle of the action and never lets up. Before you know it you are finished and are wondering what hit you.

The art is very bare bones. Few lines and big blocks of digital colour. But this straightforward approach is perfect for the cartoonish action it depicts. Realism doesn’t get a say in things with backgrounds replaced by emails, spreadsheets and flags to speed up the reading pace when exposition happens.

This is the Energy Drink of comics – snappy dialogue and a pace that makes your head spin. Definitely a Thumbs Up!

358/7

Tomorrow: The Losers: Double Down – Andy Diggle