‘The Violent #4:’ Comic Book Review

The most recent issue of the Ed Brisson/Adam Gorham/Michael Garland series, The Violent, has arrived, and with it comes some bad news: This is nearly the conclusion of the series. In the backmatter of this issue, Brisson discussed the end of the series and its possible resurgence with crowdfunding, something that makes me both hopeful and very sad, as this is a series I have really enjoyed.

Despite the disappointment that comes from knowing a great series is ending, the fact that it’s a great series is a testament to the craft of these creators. In The Violent, Mason Turner and his wife Becky are in some major trouble, especially with Mason’s troubled past and even more troubled present. With no one really able to count on him, his desperation makes things even worse, spiraling into some of the biggest mistakes of his life. This doesn’t go well as, with most things, the bad deeds come back to haunt him in the worst way. 

This is a dark, dark book. It’s punishing, depressing, and graphic. It’s powerful and heartbreaking. It’s also incredibly engrossing and one of the better series to come out from Image recently. I really love Ed Brisson’s work, and seeing this series really find its footing has been very rewarding, especially combined with the robust artwork of Gorham and Garland. They capture the dreariness of the world very well, with heavy color palettes, dreary landscapes, and a well-worn universe. This feels like a hard book to make, but it’s made very well.

The only shame is that the book never seems to have found its audience. At least, not in time to keep the book going in its current form.

With the last issue looming, it’ll be good to see a resolution to what is currently happening in the story, but I’ll be sad to see it go. If nothing else, at least buy the trade and give this book the chance it never seemed to get in single-issue form.

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