Review: Suicide Risk #18

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Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Story: Mike Carey

Art: Haemi Jang

Colours: Andrew Elder

Suicide Risk #18 takes us back to the past detailing a tale of two young volunteers joining Requiem’s rebellion against the sinister ‘Men of Gold’ and their journey changing from civilians to freedom fighters.

Brion and Jael are a young couple living under the rule of the republic, while aware of Requiem’s declaration of war, the couple keep to themselves, until Brion is approached and invited to join the resistance.
Jael, while initially uncertain and wary of this invitation is convinced by Brion’s blind faith in Requiem’s cause. As the couple begin their fight for freedom amongst the ranks if the resistance, it becomes painfully clear that this life is better suited for Jael, leaving Brion with second thoughts.

Mike Carey delivers yet another sensational chapter in Suicide Risk issue eighteen, departing from the main story arc for now, Carey offers a one shot story which explores the lives of two freshly introduced characters and their decisions that led them to be ‘banished’ to the earth we know.
The drive and backbone to this one shot story is the character development in the central protagonist: Brion. As the months quickly pass in each panel we witness Brion’s evolution from hopeful and passionate citizen, to proud and fearless freedom fighter to bitter and regretful traitor and finally to shamed and humbled outcast.
Brion’s development is concluded within this issue and we have a rare treat to a character’s entire life story in but a few pages, yet despite only just being introduced it’s very easy to relate and sympathise with him as Carey perfectly depicts (with exaggeration for dramatic effect, of course) a piece of the journey in which everyone eventually goes trough in life. Hopeful idealism, pride and a sense of purpose, envy and bitterness and loss and regret.
Despite breaking off from the main story arc, issue eighteen does not suffer for it, Carey continues to flesh out the background and history to this other world he has created and which the central characters all seem to come from and genuinely creates an interest in investing care to this freshly introduced character and his choices.

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Haemi Jang illustrates this issues and serves to further enrich Carey’s already impressive storytelling with some fantastic visual aid.
Jang delivers emotion and depth to the characters depicted, while establishing very clearly that the setting is extraterrestrial and fantasy based, which seems so at odds with the core of the very character driven story that it makes for a rather wonderful contrast.
Jang helps to bring this strange new world to life and enriches every panel with extravagant backdrops and very alien, yet somehow stylish attire for most of the characters.
What little physical action this issue displays is done in an impressive, flowing manner which angles the horizon and blurs the surroundings to give a very first person look inside a chaotic battlefield which serves to emphasise the chaos and pulse pounding atmosphere which is also dramatised which rich, bold colouring that has become the trademark to the Suicide Risk series.

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Deep, involving and enriching the backstory of the characters, issue eighteen really serves to gain some perspective on the lives Requiem’s rebellion has touched, in both a positive and negative way.
Suicide Risk continues to prove that it is story telling at it’s best with it’s original concept, compelling story and characters accompanied by beautiful visuals, it’s one of my personal favourites currently on the shelves.

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