Written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith
Illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III
Published by Th3rdworlD Studios
After the shocking cliffhanger revelation at the end of part 3, we might have expected the latest instalment of TSOL to ease the pace a little . Foolish, foolish us. Will we ever learn? We’re so innocent. Naive, even. Perhaps dangerously so. God, I hate us.
The conclusion to The Jungle is probably the single most eventful issue yet, though paced in a manner that never feels rushed or forced, with every story beat given appropriate breathing room. Keeping things as spoiler-free as possible, in this issue we are presented with an unexpected return, a new romantic rivalry, an astonishingly brutal and unexpected murder, a flashback that gives an entirely new spin on the very first scene from the very first issue of Book One and a bear in an oversized bow tie fighting a giant cobra.
A bear fighting a giant cobra.
A BEAR FIGHTING A GIANT EFFING COBRA.
There’s plenty of character development alongside the romance, intrigue, shifting loyalties and bears fighting giant cobras. A personal favourite: treacherous Percy’s hypocritical rage at another character’s betrayal, giving us another glimpse at the occasionally-sympathetic coward’s malicious side and perhaps more subtly a peek at how he sees himself. It’s this kind of attention to character development that will keep the reader coming back for more, even when there aren’t any bears fighting giant cobras. I can’t remember the last time I felt so invested in the fates of comic book characters.
Speaking of great characters, it appears Book III will be a solo adventure of my absolute favourite, The Jester.