Inferior 5 #4 – Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen, Writer; Keith Giffen, Penciller; Michelle Delecki, Inker; Jeff Lemire, Backup Artist; Hi-Fi, Jose Villaruba, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: We got bad news in the last solicits, as Inferior 5, this clever indie-accented title, is being cut back to six issues from a planned twelve. I’m hoping we get a second volume down the line to complete the story, because it’s hard to imagine this dense and fascinating book closing out its story effectively in only two more issues.
Focusing on a fractious group of teenagers trapped in a small Arizona town post-Invasion, we learn more about each of them each issue. Inferior 5 #4 takes us inside the mind of Helen, the good-spirited team leader who is actually a Durlan on a secret mission. Her father, who we learn is either inside her head or paying visits to the town, is a harsh taskmaster who has no problem abusing her to keep her on task. Despite the sci-fi sheen, these segments are brutal to read for anyone who has lived in fear of a parent, and it’s a testament to Lemire’s skill as a writer just how quickly he gets us into these characters’ heads.
Lemire and Giffen keep a fast pace throughout Inferior 5 #4, as the teenagers watch a monster fight, get stalked by the creepy masked boy from the first issue, and discover more secret areas of the town.
The reveal about the nature of Tasmanian Devil, who first appeared last issue, comes out of nowhere and adds a surreal touch to this series. Just how far is the Controllers’ plot going, and what are their plans for the remaining members of the town? It may be bigger than we thought, and it could easily spin off into a second chapter with a different brand after the last page.
The Jeff Lemire backup focusing on Peacemaker continues to be a thrill ride, with our unhinged hero fighting a Rocket Red on a plane over the ocean as his helmet gives him conflicting advice. This reminds me a lot of Lemire’s excellent run on Moon Knight over at the competition, and it’s another endorsement to follow anything this writer does.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.