A Walk Through Hell (2018) #12

Hell12

A Walk Through Hell has a surprisingly affective final issue. Not because anything in it connects, but because everything in it does not, and then it becomes clear writer Garth Ennis isn’t just having a laugh; he put thought into it. And it all comes out bad. For most of the issue, Hell #12 feels like the talky conclusion to a lousy movie starring Patton Oswalt and Charlize Theron, like Ennis had a script in a drawer and turned it into a comic.

Something from when he was primarily known for writing Preacher. Think Seven meets the most realistic, not funny parts of Preacher. It’s talky, disappointing, a little sad, but not off the rails. The stakes are all theoretical.

But then it gets very, very current with Ennis making all sorts of commentary on 2018 politics and becomes a spiritual sequel to his old series, 303 (when Bush was president). Hell’s a significant downgrade from that series. Worse, Ennis has the perfect ending to the comic, and he doesn’t see it. He’s got the moment in his grasp to at least make the last couple of issues pay off. Not the whole, disastrous waste of money, but at least the finish would be effective.

He misses it, of course. Of course, he misses it. Walk Through Hell’s the hells of missed opportunities and bad plot choices.

Only it’s not over. There’s the final punchline: Ennis pretends he wrote a good comic with great characters, and it’s wretched. Especially since Goran Sudžuka’s art looks like he’s drawing stylized toys, not people. It’s a lousy finish to an already lousy series.

It’s been a long time since Ennis has made anything quite this bad. I hope it’s a long time until he does it again.

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