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‘Giants #5:’ Comic Book Review

The final issue of Giants showcases the big, epic battle between monsters and brothers that the previous issue promised. It’s visceral, cinematic, and emotional. The outcome isn’t necessarily unexpected. The story has veered slightly away from the complex world the first issue created in exchange for a more good vs. evil showdown, or at least enlightened vs. led astray showdown; that delineation feeds into the emotional gravitas of the final moments. So, while the outcome isn’t unexpected, it is satisfying. Every twist and turn in this sci-fi actioneer calls upon elements of everything from Evangelion, Akira, and Godzilla. Every story element has been crafted beautifully into the story. Nothing feels inauthentic. Now, I will give a book the best compliment it can get: What would have made it more satisfying is if this series had a much longer run. Comic books, more than cinema and even television, have the ability to world build to the Nth degree. They can take their time and really delve into the characters, who they become, and why. Where Giants falls short for me is literally in the fact that it fell short…issue-count wise.

Everything else is here. You have solid characters in Gogi and Zedo who are well established in the first couple of issues, along with the world they live in. They are sent in different trajectories due to their own ambition biting them in their asses, and they, as characters, respond to that shake up. It’s a solid beginning that talks about happenstance being a reason for who we become, just as much as personal choices. From there, all of the story beats are hit and they all make sense, but, at times, they unfold too quickly. By giving this series breathing room, the emotional arcs could have kept pace with the story beats a little better. The secondary characters could have shined and added to those emotional arcs a little more. As it stands, I want to know a lot more about Gogi’s friends and also those who have become Zedo’s band and how he treats them. In taking the time to fill in those blanks, maybe this conclusion might not have been as expected. Details would have sprung up that might have allowed the Valderrama Bros the ability to play and tinker.

All of this is me yearning for something I saw in this series that maybe the creators didn’t want it to be. Because, as it is, it’s a solid story with two well-developed characters and beautiful art. The conflict and reason for the conflict is palpable; it resonates. For all intents and purposes, it’s a really good comic. I think a lot of people will enjoy it, and I see the Valderramas going on to do some really great things. I’ll be first in line to read them.

One thing Carlos and Miguel Valderrama have done to enhance the experience is by creating playlists for each issue on Carlos’ Spotify account. Scroll down to his playlist and listen to the music as the story unfolds. It’s beautiful, otherworldly, intense, and melancholy.

Creative Team: Carlos and Miguel Valderrama (story, art, lettering), Ethan Kimberling (designer), Randy Stradley (editor), Christianne Goudreau (Digital Art Technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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