Review by Ryan K. Lindsay
The finale to this creative sci fi take on “Chinatown” arrives and there’s enough toothy demons, incest, brood queen slugs, and love to go around for everyone. This title has had some really dramatic moments, and some seriously messed up instances, and everything gets woven together in a conclusion that’s fair and enjoyable, if a little predictable and easy at times.
Ryder is just coming to terms with having committed fraudulent incest — perhaps this is what the elusive mopery refers to — and now must talk fast to save his life from the gun Katrina holds to his head. The discussion slowly pieces together many of the missing aspects of the puzzle but it also feels like a lot of exposition to transition us into the final act smoothly. We also get to see the sexual act of trepanation again, because issue 2 was completely lacking in any.
The means by which Ryder and his troupe gain entrance to the big bad family of the Dantons is a tried and tested trope. It might be cliché, but it works. Whether you like it or not, pages later you are treated to the visual splendor of a Daemon hive queen. It’s like someone asked Wayne Nichols to draw the Alien Queen with more creepy arms and a mutated chihuahua’s face. The idea of this thing alive in the sewers eating medical cadavers from a feed tube is just crazy enough to work. This book has been a visual sell and Nichols makes sure you get enough creeps for your dollar.
The final series of events to wrap up this tale race to one-up each other. It’s nice to see a book try to give as many moments crammed into its finale as possible, but the staccato style of delivery makes a few of the reveals lose their edge. It doesn’t always feel sensible that for such a high stakes, dangerous situation so much talking would occur. Too many threats are delivered without the bad guys actually landing any punches. However, the final narrative one-two punch is well metered and effective.
“Ryder on the Storm” has been a very strange ride into a world populated by dangerous and devilish beings. The pulp backdrop makes for an effective deception as the tale spins into a hellish nightmare of cosmic takeover and personal reflection and progression. This is a horror comic with a brain, even if it gets the occasional drill shoved into it.
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