Crush & Lobo #4 – Mariko Tamaki, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Mariko Tamaki’s unique spotlight on the teenage lesbian Czarnian with a whole lot of issues has been a slow burn, but in many ways it feels like this issue is what it’s been building towards. Crush has been spending the entire series running from herself, from her personal troubles, and from her questions about what her father’s influence means. Now, after being tricked into taking her father’s place in space prison, she has nothing to do but to reflect. In between prison brawls and painting sessions where she draws her girlfriend, she’s forced to look at how she was lured into trusting a man who tried to kill her multiple times. But there are a lot of those aforementioned prison brawls—Lobo has a lot of enemies in the prison, and just like the guards, few of them seem smart enough to tell that it’s a teenage girl locked up and not the most notorious criminal in the galaxy.
Then there are the group therapy sessions with the world’s most annoying robot therapist/slash guard, and that’s where Crush starts hatching her plan to break free. With Lobo wasting no time resuming his usual criminal activities, she starts a brawl with a much bigger target – big enough to get her thrown into the hospital wing where she can actually be scanned for DNA rather than for her chip. Of course, this doesn’t actually resolve much—it feels like Tamaki is commenting here on the futility and frustration of the penal system here as much as anything else. This is a system that needs a victim and isn’t particularly concerned about who it is, but Crush is able to leverage that to get a temporary pass to freedom—and all hell is about to break loose. The Crush that emerges from the prison doesn’t feel like the one that went in, and that means this series is doing its job as we enter the back half next month.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.