As the story arc "The Lost Girl" winds towards its end and loose ends start to get tied up, writer Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) can't decide if his story is a comedy, horror, social commentary, or some kind of uneven mash up of all three.
There's some humor in this issue, only one panel of it actually. There's some social commentary on the evils of slavery and how women have been mistreated by the patriarchy over the centuries. There's some weighty commentary on the destruction of the environment. Finally, there's some horror and gore elements mixed with some action. The only problem is that it all feels forced and a little trite. There's nothing wrong with plenty of social, environmental and feminist commentary in comic books, especially if Marvel Comics is really abandoning their progressive tendencies soon. It just has to be done right.
The ancient "Mothers," the female vampires who have been asleep in deep in the Earth since at least the American Civil War period, are awakened and immediately begin to berate the woman who was turned by them, and devoted her life to awakening them, for the destruction the human race has wreaked on the environment. At the end of the issue the same savior of the ancient female hurriedly relates her history as a slave, a freed slave, and an accused witch who was burned at the stake only to be saved by the "Mother" by being turned into a vampire. David, the main baddie of the original story, meets his gruesome end (although do these characters ever really reach their ends?), and some insignificant vampire killing occurs. The story follows the trajectory that Seeley most likely planned out, but shoehorns in so many subtexts that the characters, and the story itself, seem to fade into an insignificant distance. Again, I am all for progressive ideas being championed in comic books. I completely disagree with Marvel Comic's upcoming intentional abandonment of its progressive storytelling tendencies. Seeley just doesn't fit his commentary in smoothly enough for it to not come off as soapbox preaching instead of enlightened storytelling. In fact, it's this type of sloppy storytelling that gives the alt-right ammunition to used against progressive storytelling in comics.
Just when the series was beginning to win me over, it loses me again. Seeley gets an A for effort, but an F for execution. There's one more chapter to this story though, and I am anxious to see how Seeley winds it all up...stylistically, not narratively. When you aren't inspired to come back for the narrative, but out of curiosity as to how a mess can be wrapped up neatly, that's not a good reason for coming back.