A Walk Through Hell (2018) #8

W8

It’s a very talky, very unpleasant issue. Walk Through Hell has been gross before, it’s been mean before, but this issue, writer Garth Ennis turns it up to eleven. The bad guy—who maybe thinks he’s the Anti-Christ (we don’t get there yet, which will seem like burying the lede)—recounts his life history, starting with killing his family and heading off to juvenile detention, where all sorts of bad things happen.

Ennis puts a lot of work into the writing. He structures it as a confession to the FBI agents, with the McGregor guy reacting when it’s time to tone down the intensity or at least take a break. It becomes a recurring narrative pattern, which sets up the cliffhanger, though it’s the first time I wasn’t ready for a Walk to end. The reveals are, if not actually engaging, interesting enough after sitting through the previous six issues. Something might finally matter.

There’s a flashback scene for female FBI agents Shaw and Driscoll, where they talk about the 2016 election—possibly as a sign it’s time for the Old Gods to return and destroy the world (I mean…)—and some day drinkers try to pick them up. It’s an odd bit of professionalism drama in the comic, though it later makes sense why Ennis was doing it. And it nicely passes Bechdel until the intrusive dudes.

But Walk is clearly never not going to be a mess. Ennis is bound and determined to create another comic George Clooney would toss aside with a “who would ever want to read that,” only not one where Ennis is going to prove him wrong. It’s an exercise in measured excess, not really pushing the envelope, just doing different shocks.

The Goran Sudžuda art is fine. The content’s so intentionally revolting it’d be weird if the art visualizing it were better.

Even as I’m curious about what Ennis’s got up his sleeve, I can’t wait for this one to finish up. It’s tedious being so constantly horrified.

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