‘Trista & Holt #15:’ Advance Comic Book Review

And so, we have reached the end. After over a year of buildup, this is the final issue of Andrez Bergen’s gender-bending disco noir twist on classic literature. It’s been an incredible ride, getting better and better with every issue. It goes without saying that I’ll be sorry to see it go.

Fortunately, this is also an extra-long issue. The cover says double issue, but it’s not quite. Trista & Holt #14 had 28 pages, whereas this one has 40. Still, we get a little extra story for the money which is nice considering it’s all the story we have left.

In the previous issue, Trista was captured by some thugs and taken to Black Sails Sanatorium, where she was lobotomized in order to get her to stop making trouble. As we open this issue, Issy is, understandably, distraught. His first thought is of suicide. His next thought is of revenge.

Can either plan really succeed? Just about all the allies that either Trista or Issy had previously have either turned on them or been killed themselves. Can Issy, all by himself, go up against the most powerful crime family in the city? More importantly, can he and Issy ever truly find happiness, or live normal lives, after what’s happened?

Even though this is a longer issue than normal, it’s still a very quick read. For the most part, it’s not very narrative-heavy. The focus is more on the art. Bergen’s signature photo-manipulation art style is always fun and interesting, and in this issue in particular, there are some details that are definitely worth a second look. Also, the noirish visual style is almost palpable, particularly in the beginning pages.

The conclusion of this story isn’t quite what you’d expect, especially from a double-issue, with the stakes as high as they are. It’s a satisfying conclusion, though, and worth reading. I highly recommend the Trista & Holt series in general. It’s a gripping, fascinating story from beginning to end. Who knows? Maybe now that it’s over, I’ll finally read the original story on which it’s based, Tristan and Iseult. Something tells me it’s not quite as much fun without the gender-bending disco noir.

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