Crush and Lobo #3 – Mariko Tamaki, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: If you have toxic family or have dealt with cutting a family member off, this book might be very uncomfortable to read. Of course, Crush and Lobo having a… questionable relationship is nothing new, given that he’s tried to murder her repeatedly (something addressed in this issue), but I never felt anything about that. Here, this kind of thing actually counts. We’ve also seen that Crush has her own issues with relationships, and while she’s certainly not toxic or abusive, her unwillingness to commit or value her partner’s needs even as she cares about her speaks to a common pattern in children of abuse. So that makes it all the more interesting when she arrives at Lobo’s space prison and prepares to meet with him in a planned parent-child space therapy session overseen by therapy boys. Point to Tamaki for including the Praying Mantis alien family that keeps eating each other’s heads.
Not much happens for the first half of the issue, as Crush and Lobo sit down and talk. Lobo is oily as always, saying all the right things and even making clear that while he might not be capable of change, he’s willing to help Crush sort her own issues out. He’s almost believable—which makes his inevitable betrayal all the more shocking, and the way it plays out is a great display of writing tension. The issue ends with Lobo making his move, Crush in an impossible position, and the setup for a truly explosive confrontation once they’re both together. This is an odd choice for a solo book, but Tamakin always infuses her writing with such emotional honest that she’s able to get me invested in a character I never really cared about until now. At almost halfway through the series, there’s been surprisingly little interaction between the leads, but I’m excited to see how it plays out.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.