Millar shows off. Admittedly, the constraint of the “River Run” arc–it being a short story collection–let’s him be more writerly than one usually expects from a comic, but this issue is just a fantastic show of talent.
The story centers around a Golden Age hero who has grown old, but still does the superhero thing when needed. Millar doesn’t open with him though, instead setting up the ground situation for the first few pages. Slaughter Swamp is where people go to get rid of themselves and others. And Alec pops into Solomon Grundy’s mind in this place.
The hero shows up to stop Grundy, which leads to a reasonably good fight scene from Hester and DeMulder. It doesn’t read fast enough–Millar foreshadows the hero’s death, which makes one want the issue to read faster. Then there’s the revealation.
Again, not much Alec, but who cares… It’s great.
River Run, Chapter Four: The Secret of Slaughter Swamp; writer, Mark Millar; penciller, Phil Hester; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Richard Starkings; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.
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