Publisher: Image Comics
Writer and Artist: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: Nate Piekos
I Hate Fairyland’s 5th issue marks the end of the series’s first story arc. The series has been pretty uneven so far. It seems that each month the quality alternates between “great” and “mediocre.” The finale of this arc was no exception.
If there is one word that can be used to describe this issue it would be “rushed.” It almost felt as if Young had panicked and decided that the plot should take enormous steps with each passing page. A few months ago, we were introduced to Happy, Gertrude’s upbeat and adorable counterpart. Her addition was welcome as the juxtaposition between the two characters, shown in issue 4, was hysterical. Her use in this issue however reduces her to nothing more than a convenient plot device.
As the book begins, Happy finds the key that Gertrude has been so desperately searching for. For a moment it felt as if we were going to completely ignore last month’s cliffhanger. Honestly, we might as well have. The payoff wasn’t worth the setup. That story-line is wrapped up in a few quick panels. This issue did create an interesting new status-quo for the next story arc, but at what cost? This issue was so anti-climactic it makes one reconsider the entire series to date. What was really accomplished in this story arc? There was no character development at all. Aside from last month’s issue, nothing in the previous books really amounted to anything relevant to the finale. Sure, in issue 3 we were introduced to Happy. However, that meeting had no long term impact on either of the characters. There is only one mention of that exchange in the entire series.
One thing that you can always count on in I Hate Fairyland is the humour. It is almost completely absent here. As Young struggles to wrap up his story in 20 pages, he forgets that this books biggest draw is its sense of humour. There are almost no laughs to be had here. It is hard to tell if this is because killing cute things in a horrifically gory fashion has lost its novelty or simply that the writing in this issue isn’t as strong as the rest of the series. The latter is likely the most true as basically no character is given an opportunity to shine here.
What this book does still have going for it, is its art. Young knocks it out of the park once again, making the glitter and gore of I Hate Fairyland the centrepiece of this less than stellar issue. Hopefully, when this book returns in a few months, Young will have more fresh ideas that will live up to the promise the earlier issues of the series had shown.