By Zak Edwards
December 5, 2007 - 00:48
Cliffhangers can be such a problem in the comic book world. The need to have every single issue end on something dramatic enough to bring readers back for another has led to things like characters dying only to be resurrected again and again and plot twists that must be reconciled with in the first two pages of the next issue; among other things. These cliffhangers can ruin perfectly good stories, and Mike Carey and Jock’s Faker just suffered from one. Spoiler alert for those who have not read Faker #4, just in case you don’t want plot points ruined, and please note that, as with all comic books published by Vertigo Comics, this contains subject matter not suitable for younger audiences. The Vertigo website suggests no one younger than eighteen read their material, so please consider this.
|All of Jock's covers for this series are really well done.|
While there were hints last issue that this very interesting series may be gearing up to get a little strange, Faker just got very weird, and not in an art school film festival way. Mike Carey has ran with the science fiction elements of his story over what was working and now things are out of hand. The series seems to have lost a bit of focus but it is not beyond repair. This issue spefically does have some redeeming parts scattered throughout, and with just one issue left, Carey has his work cut out for him to bring it back to the quality it was. Major female protagonist and anti-hero Jessie that got shot to death last episode has now been resurrected by the “Angel’s Kiss” goo in this weapons facility. While this resurrection was pretty obvious from the cliffhanger of issue #4, I still cannot completely wrap my brain around why Carey did this. Now that Jessie is part Angel’s Kiss, which is supposed to be a sort of liquid hard-drive and not miracle balm, she has all of a sudden become an all-knowing character. Now what does she do with this new found power? Has weird distorted memories, which I will come back to, and lets her eyes glow for a while before going and having sex with another character. Sex that Carey later admits has no point. This serves as a very unnecessary page-filler feel to this issue, not really furthering the plot and doing little for character development. What the scene accomplishes could have been done in a more productive way. Carey has a piece that redeems him for this, though. The character history of Jessie is told through a series of flashbacks that may explain much of why she is why she is. Despite the pop psychology behind the behavior, Carey delivers this with force, even if all of it must be doubted given the nature of the “Angel’s Kiss” liquid hard-drive technology. The main focus of this comic book in the form of the Nick character is given some closure, but this seems an issue too soon. Why would one of the main characters, whose problem was the focus of the entire comic book, suddenly be diffused and discarded. The ultimate fate of these college kids will be told next issue, but hopefully Carey can bring it back to its roots of a story about identity in a time when we are trying to figure out just who we are.
Jock’s art continues to grow on me. Dynamic shading is used for mood and I think in some cases to cover up poorer quality drawing. The colouring has quietened down, allowing it to add to the comic book rather than distract. Jock’s art is easy to follow and is different enough from most artwork to maintain interest and a sense of individuality. Where Carey’s story may have gone awry over time, Jock maintains his quality.
6.5/10 Losing its way, but if found again, this series will remain a very layered experience and separate from many comics out there.
Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53
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