Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.
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After coming to Image Comics‘ Cry Havoc party a little late our Contributor, Darryll Robson, takes a look at the final issue in the initial story arc.
Simon Spurrier gathers a host of artists to tell the final part of Lou’s introduction into the mythic world of Cry Havoc. Orchestrating a complex narrative packed with character and violence, the task is made to look easy by the wealth of talent on offer.
But how satisfying is this story’s conclusion?
Cry Havoc: Synopsis
The Inhand Org closes in on Ordell’s new Eden while Sri is performing an enforced c-section on Lou to remove her baby.
A massive battle ensues between the secret military organization and the Myths and it all appears to be one-sided. That is until Sri removes the newborn child who turns out to be anything but a newborn child.
This issue has a lot of back story explaining why certain characters, such as Sri, do what they do. The personal and social motivations of others have manipulated Lou in such as that they have created the ‘prophecy’ that surrounded her.
Lou steps up to the plate to lead, but which side will she choose?
Cry Havoc: Analysis
In this issue of Cry Havoc everything falls into place and the jigsaw becomes complete. The lines between the beginning, middle and end almost blur together as the full picture becomes clear and at the heart of it all is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lou has been told from the beginning that she has a large part to play in the Mythics society, what that part was to be was unclear which is why in the previous issues the reader has seen her used in a number of different ways by both sides in the unspoken war, none of it particularly pleasant. But it is of course this forced interaction that changed Lou as a character. Simon Spurrier’s decision to split the story into three distinct sections helps to identify the various stages of Lou’s character.
One of the ingenious aspects of the narrative is juxtaposing two central characters beliefs next to each other to show how Lou ultimately decides on a third option for her life. Sri and Ordell’s opposite experiences and outlooks highlight for Lou, and the reader, that extremism in either direction is not the answer. Lou makes a stand and this final issue in the arc is dedicated to her choice.
Possibly the most impressive thing about this comic is the artistic collaboration. On some comics you might get three or four people working together to bring you story but there are seven artists working on this issue, not including Emma Price’s design work or Spurrier writing. Some might thing that it would be a case of too many cooks but they’d be wrong. The art flows from page to page with different colour schemes identifying different time frames in the narrative. It is at these points that you may notice any change in creator however it doesn’t interfere with the story only enhance it. Everyone comes together to illustrate a magnificent horror story that will drag up memories of classic horror movies you watched years ago or supernatural novels still embedded in your mind.
There are certain scenes that will instantly remind you of something else, there is a panel that screams The Thing and another that has Aliens written all over it, but this is intended and actually feeds into the greater narrative of Cry Havoc. The concept that all stories, all myths and legends are related is the central point that Spurrier is discussing in these pages. It’s true that some of it you may have seen before but that’s the point, every generation retells the same stories with different emphasis. O’Brother Where Art Thou, Ulyssess 31 and The Warriors are all the same story retold for a different audience in a different time. Cry Havoc amalgamates these stories to create its own, modern myth. It is the most enjoyable meta-fiction on the market and you can read into it as much, or as little, as you like.
Everything about this comic gels together; from the large creative team to the split time narrative and the over arcing story. There is a host of characters who each have motivations that develop their own personalities but also the greater narrative. It is a well-rounded, perfect example of a comic book miniseries. Everything you need to know is in the six issues however there is plenty of scope to tell more stories set in this world.
If you haven’t read Cry Havoc and if this review (and my previous ‘round up’) has intrigued you, then order the collected edition now. You are in for a wild yet thought provoking ride.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he might use his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson
An excellent ending to an excellent six issue run. The story is entertaining but is also a packed meta-fiction with a lot to say about modern myth telling.