blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Love and Rockets (1982) #48


Two issues to go, but no countdown clock other than Beto promising a last visit to Palomar in #50. Now, he got me once before with that Farewell, My Palomar story so I’m not sure I’d have believed him back in 1995.

Because the Jaime story, despite dealing with Maggie trying to tie up the loose ends of her life, doesn’t seem like an end of the book story. It might be an end of the arc story, but there’s nothing ominous about the story. It’s Maggie going and telling people she’s getting married, presumably to a guy named Bob Richardson (the title of the story). She breaks wrestler Gina’s heart, has a pointless farewell with the migrant worker guy who she literally made out with once, tells Aunt Vicki, then gets herself held hostage with Rena.

Locas is so much more exciting with Rena around.

Meanwhile, Esther is having a secret birthday and Danita is thinking maybe her boss is sweet on her. Mild stuff. Then a big cliffhanger. It’s good. Jaime works at it composition-wise. Maybe it doesn’t feel like a second-to-penultimate story because it’s such a solid narrative. Jaime’s not doing a long-form Peanuts, he’s doing a Locas. It’s really cool.

But then Jaime does that promised “Last Maria and Gorgo Story,” which is about Fritzi and Petra going down to Palomar to meet Luba, Guadalupe revealing her son’s father, Gorgo and Luba getting used to being around each other, whatever’s going on with Jesus and Guadalupe stalking him (sort of). It’s all set against Doralis getting famous on TV. It’s a big, awesome story, in seventeen pages but two of them don’t relate so it’s fifteen amazing pages. It’s absurdly great work.

There a bunch of Palomar cameos–Ofelia gets an arc, sort of, but enough of one–and maybe even some visual references to previous issues. There’s one big one and I wish I could remember if Beto’d used the visual before. Luba also gets more to do than she’s had, in the present, since before Poison River. It’s established material with Beto’s always developing narrative skills looking at it with slightly different eyes. It’s very much a done-in-one.

And then Beto just one-ups the whole thing with the last page. It’s too good.

Right before he promises last Palomar story in two issues, which doesn’t exactly make the story any better but it does make reading experience sincerely precious. After forty-seven issues, Beto’s earned the right to be sincerely precious with Palomar. He’s more than earned it.

Great issue.

One response to “Love and Rockets (1982) #48”

  1. V Wiley

    Not even sure the “last” issue at 50 was all that “planned”, as it were. While there are certainly burn out/fatigue issues with two creators producing fifty issues of material, it sure doesn’t seem anywhere near a conclusion. I can only imagine what sales per issue by #50 and how many years. At this point, the collections are probably outselling the individual issues, and it’s time for a reboot. Of course, with hindsight it’s easy to say now, but the energy and craft are still there, along with the enthusiasm. New formats and avenues are probably foremost in their minds at this point, as history has proven. Maggie, Hopey, and Luba are at this point icons in comic book legends, and short of death itself, seems like there are many more stories yet to be told.

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