16th Jun2017

‘Extremity #4′ Review (Image Comics)

by Dan Clark

Written by  Daniel Warren Johnson | Art by Daniel Warren Johnson | Published by Image Comics

extremity-4-cover

Daniel Warren Johnson has made quite the book with Extremity. He has been able to create this vast creative world full of its own distinctive history. That world building has not taken away from any of the entertainment as the battles he constructs are brutally compelling, and through effective character work those battles actually mean something.

Here he adds another thematic layer as this issue deals with how the loss of loved ones effects our purpose. The issue opens with Thea along with her father visiting the grave of her mother. From the start we see the crux dilemma of this issue and that is how they along with Rollo differ in their reaction to her death. Jerome’s ownership of her death has laid upon him a level of guilt that has transformed into anger and purpose. A purpose so strong he is incapable of feeling anything outside his need for revenge. Here he gets his chance as he comes face to face with the person that killed her.

It is the age old dilemma of what occurs after you seek your revenge, or perhaps the better question is if there is ever an after. Showing the emptiness revenge brings is not groundbreaking, but being groundbreaking is not a requirement for good storytelling. This is great storytelling because it is high drama with complete characters. For every victory that is an equal level tragedy and we see how this family is becoming torn apart by the issue that should be bringing them together.

Daniel Warren Johnson has also given this series its own unique style. His pencils look somewhat old school, like a updated version of Heavy Metal. He can also depict both force and speed very well. You can feel the bones breaking as bodies get distorted and feel a slight breeze as these characters move at inhuman like speeds. Mike Spencer’s coloring is also quite strong. His color pallet makes all that action pop and at times is key to telling many of these characters apart. It is the smallest nit to pick but at times due to their design I find it challenging telling who is who during the hectic action.

Extremity has grown into quite the comic in these first few issues. At first it seemed like another Science Fiction/Fantasy mash up that would be full of joyous adventure and larger than life characters. With this issue it has developed beyond that and is actually trying to say something important. Looking at the best new series of this year this is certainly on the list.

****½  4.5/5

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