Review: Slots #6

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
March 14th, 2018

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.

Review: Slots #6
Comics
0
Review of: Slots #6
Price:
Exceptional

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On March 14, 2018
Last modified:March 14, 2018

Summary:

An outstanding end to an outstanding series. The art, the narrative and the over all design of the comic is of the highest quality. A must read.

Review of: Slots #6
Price:
Exceptional

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On March 14, 2018
Last modified:March 14, 2018

Summary:

An outstanding end to an outstanding series. The art, the narrative and the over all design of the comic is of the highest quality. A must read.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

The final issue of Slots from Image Comics and Skybound is released this week. As all of the threads of the story start to come together our contributor, Darryll Robson, takes a look to see how it all fits together.

So far Slots has been a gripping, entertaining and impressively drawn series about one-time confidence trickster, Stanley, who has embarked on one final con which involves his friends, his family and some old school enemies. Dan Panosian pulls out all the stops as he ties together the many story threads from the previous issues while maintaining the high quality that the readers have come to expect.

Synopsis

Stanley and his son have finally started to make a bond but it all seems too little too late. Mercy has signed a contract to work for Les, the villain of the piece. The Piggy Bank will not survive without its star performer. And Stanley has to lose the fight that he has trained so hard to win.

Nothing is looking good.

But Stanley has a plan.

Story continues below

And it’s the craziest plan anyone has ever heard which is probably why it is need to know only.

Credit: Image Comics

Analysis

This issue opens with Lucy and Stan facing each other in typically stand-offish poses, as if they are squaring up for a fight. But this is misleading, it is the first time since Stan got back into Vegas that they are bonding like a father and son. Lucy is expressing his dismay for everything that is going wrong and he offers to take Stan away and save him from the beating that is about to come. At the start of this series Lucy wouldn’t even acknowledge Stanley but here he is willing to give everything up to help his old man out.

Not only is this a ‘nice’ moment but it’s also important for the story as a whole. The writer, Dan Panosian, is making a point about how far Stanley has come on his journey. With all of the plans and the tricks and the cons, Stanley has rediscovered his family and the realisation of that fuels his confidence for the games ahead. At this point, on page two of this issue, Panosian draws a sequence of panels, three of Stanley’s beat up mug and one of Lucy’s, and these contain the point where Stanley knows that he has won. Whatever he was hoping to achieve or what goals are still to score, it is at that point that he has really crossed the finishing line. The rest is just waiting for everyone else to catch up.

After those initial pages the rest of this issue is playing out the confidence trick that Stanley has set in motion over the last 5 issues. The plan seemingly keeps getting changed as each piece falls into place and he explains the next part to someone else but this is just for show, to make it look like Stan is spiralling out of control but in reality, as Panosian shows in various panels highlighting Stanleys cheeky grin, this has all been part of the plan from beginning.

The way everything works out is succinct and fits together like a child’s jigsaw.  In some respect it’s almost too easy and that creates a little disappointment in the end. Like an episode of a weekly TV show that spends 40 minutes on drama and 5 minutes on the finale to wrap everything up nicely for a fresh start next week., Slots issue 6 manages to work everything out for the heroes without any hitches. I personally felt that there were a number of aspects of earlier issues that didn’t come into play at the ending which left me with a small empty feeling. Maybe this is something that will be fixed on re-reading in its entirety, the subtleties of the earlier issues may become more obvious in a single sitting.

Credit: Image Comics

However, with that said, Slots has been an excellent read from issue 1 and this final issue is anything but a let-down. The narrative is straight forward, and even if you haven't read the previous issues it isn't hard to pick this up and run with it.

The script is witty and clever, which won’t be a surprise to long time readers, but the emotional content of this issue far surpasses previous instalments. Panosian has managed to worm Stanley into the readers affections and the payoff for that is in this issue. Starting with the father/son bonding at the beginning and continuing through the issue. The blossoming relationships in Stanley’s life make this comic worth reading. He started as a bit of a looser but here he is finally winning back some of the relationships he had lost and those moments are written and illustrated beautifully by Panosian. There are moving moments and touching scenes. And the final pages should put a massive smile upon your face.

Story continues below

Panosian’s layouts and design continue to impress. He is a visual storyteller who knows how to use the panels and compositions to tell different aspects of his story. Even without the speech, the pages are full of emotion and humour. He can make the reader feel uncomfortable but also dazzler you with the Vegas lights. And in this issue it is important to be able to follow exactly what is going on because this is where it all falls into place. Up to now Panosian has revelled in the fact there are mysterious cogs turning behind the scenes but here he lays everything out in the open for the reader to see and follow. It’s all very straight forward with one moment leading to another and another until the end where everything finally makes perfect sense.

Each page acts as a mini scene with natural breaks in the story allowing the page transitions to jump from one location to another. This gives the comic a very quick pace with fast cuts from one group of people to another; jumping from moment to moment, page to page. There is one moment where this changes, a full page spread where Panosian breaks his own pacing and captures a single moment in time in such a way that it will force you to stop reading and pause, mouth agape.

This is a perfect example of the brilliant story telling in this comic. The moment marks an end to the main narrative, the con has been played out, so by including this page Panosian is allowing the reader to stop and take stock of what has happened. It is also throws into question the fate of some of the characters. Again a natural stop is required to heighten the suspense. The page is so different from every other in this issue that the reader has to stop and contemplate what they have just read. This allows you to ease into the final pages, reading at a slower rate which is required for the denouement.

Slots has been a pleasure to read from issue 1 and Panosian has created a character that defines the term ‘lovable rogue’. With each issue it has never been clear just where the story was going and this has worked in its favour. Just like the movie The Sting, Slots keeps you guessing until the final play is made and it all makes perfect sense. We are in awe of Stanley’s genius despite his dishonest approach to life and in the end Panosian portrays him as a hero. The narrative and art have been of the highest quality and it is a heart-warming end to a truly entertaining read.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, but he does remember to write more about comics on his website comiccutdown.com

Slots #6

  • 4

Exceptional

An outstanding end to an outstanding series. The art, the narrative and the over all design of the comic is of the highest quality. A must read.

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