Image Comics 2016
Written by B. Clay Moore
Illustrated by Paul Reinwand
Layouts by Jacob Wyatt
The finale to this arc is here and be prepared because it’s the game changer we’ve been waiting for. Throughout this arc Clay has woven this tale of two Byrd’s focusing less on Mike thankfully and brought us this rather shocking and emotional ending with some of the most stellar characterisation, plot twists and beautiful scenery.
I’m a huge fan of these for the simple reason that they are story driven, the focus on the characters, the situations and it’s so reminiscent of old school cop drama’s that you’d find all over television. From Hawaii Five-O to Kojak they were the classic characters who were able to use their backdrops to make the story that much more. Clay does that too and while Byrd is a more a traditional Private Dick, adrift and drowning in a bottle, it still has all the elements that a lot of people have forgotten about to make good stories happen.
The interiors here are utterly fantastic. Paul does a wonderful job filling things out with Jacob’s layouts. The attention to detail, the sheer amount of emotion and depth of feelings we get just from facial expressions tell so much of the story. The layouts from Jacob on the page are great and interestingly used to highlight specific moments that need to stand out.
Last issue Masaki killed Mo and this issue not only deals with the aftermath of that but how this affects everyone on the Island. Well okay not everyone but all the characters involved throughout. I can’t go into it but this is the most emotionally driven i’ve seen and actually felt characters react. There’s so much power here in the way the story flows through the words and visuals that there’s no mistaking anything. You feel what Byrd does and throughout this issue once he’s told who killed Mo.
Everything that’s been introduced in this story, the subpoena and his relationship with the police department and even slightly with Mike are all tied up nicely. It also gives us a chance for the next one, and there’d better be a next one folks, to start fresh somewhere else with a new backdrop (San Francisco comes to mind) that will only serve to highlight everything we’ve come to love about Hawaii.
Of course we are talking about Byrd and who knows when and if he’ll leave the Island he’s kind of unpredictable that way. Still this is one of the most original throwback type story’s that we see in comics today and it’s a stellar tribute to the classics that we SHOULD have grown up reading. So keep em coming guys because this is what genre diversity in comics is all about.