Waiting For The Trade – The Question: Peacemaker

Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Penciller: Deny Cowan
Inkers: Malcolm Jones III, Carlos Garzon
Colourist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: Willie Schubert

Collects: The Question #31-36

I’ve not reviewed a trade of The Question on the blog before although we’ve talked about the character on the podcast a few times. This trade collects the end of the The Question series (not counting the Blackest Night #37 from this year) and what an end!

As Hub City continues to deteriorate Vic Sage struggles to maintain his sanity, he isn’t a campaigning superhero, he’s not even really out to see justice triumph, most of the time he’s just trying to survive. But there’s a real heart to this book but it’s hidden away under layer upon layer of darkness but those layers peel back as the series closes and we finally get to see a Question who is at peace with himself and those who he calls friend.

The darkness I mention above includes some really harrowing scenes, one in particular which features the corpse of a baby is something which struck me cold. Without the glossy veneer that current comics seem to have and with the grittiness that seems to be the hallmark of this book the impact of these events feels multiplied. What’s more it doesn’t feel to me like O’Neil was just playing this for shock value in the way that an Ennis, Millar or Ellis might.

I don’t know if Denys Cowan has any sort of martial arts training or what sort of personal experience he brings to the action scenes but his fights are amazing and kinetic. Here fighting isn’t glamourous it’s brutal, there’s consequences to each blow and the varied use of angles and points-of-view help heighten this to the point where you can almost feel the heel of a shoe connect with an unprotected jaw.

Another great artistic touch features in the last story as Vic morphs between his adult and child selves as he hallucinates about his upbringing, simple but amazingly effective.

I can sense I’m getting effusive in my praise so I will call things to a close with a hearty recommendation that if you haven’t read this series you owe it to yourself to do so.

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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