|Men of Wrath #5 cover|
by Garney and Milla
The concluding issue of Jason Aaron's and Ron Garney's creator-owned work Men of Wrath lives up to the blood-saturated issues we have seen so far.
Succinctly summed up by Aaron on the final page, Men of Wrath is about a family curse passed from father to son for four generations. Ultimately, a whole lot of people get killed. The cold hard close that wraps up this issue mirrors the dramatic opening from issue #1. Death abounds in all those pages.
Given the setup from the preceding issue, I had hoped to see Reuben last a little longer, but I don't feel put out by the twist Aaron has in the opening pages of issue #5. It is consistent with the tone and feel of the series. The story achieves satisfactory closure in this issue, and that satisfaction is compounded by the well-balanced pace of the issue, which tips explosive action against familial drama.
Aaron plays up the dramatic use of completely blank and black pages in this issue. The cutaways these provide not only denote a lapse in time during the course of the events but also build a sense of suspense for the reader. Couple this with a lift in the narrated voice of Ira Rath throughout the issue, not just at the beginning or end as in previous issues, and it is a fitting way to close the series.
|No good can come from this...|
Among all the killing brilliantly brought to life by Garney and Milla, Aaron is telling a story with some poignancy to it. Ira Rath is trying to find some small sense of redemption, along with a healthy dose of retribution. There is some paternal caring, which we could have suspected from Ira's actions in the previous issue; this is really highlighted by Ira's relief and interaction with Lizzie in the final few pages.
|Ira Rath's in a world of trouble|
Ultimately, though, as the solicitation line for this issue reads, someone must die. It is the Rath way. All good things must come to an end, and Men of Wrath goes out on a high. As a very limited series, this was a good, mature read. It wasn't bogged down intellectually but delivered on the premise on which it was established. Aaron and Garney pull off a suburb comic experience that will only become better as a collected edition.
|Bloody to the bitter end|