It’s the last of this little run of standalone stories, only this one isn’t really a standalone. Taking place in WW2, this story fills out back-story that was introduced in the very first arc of the series, as we see how Jo first meets Walt Booker, a soldier who would go on to become a corrupt cop. We saw some snippets of this story, but it was good to put some more flesh on these bones.
My favourite thing about this series is how it really gets across the idea of something dark and terrifying sneaking around just out of sight, and the unsettling nature of how and when it crosses over. Brubaker really nails the sense of impending doom here, as Walt’s crew of soldiers goes mad thanks to a mysterious map, and he is drawn towards Josephine. Bru also continues to drop some hints about the nature of who or what Jo is. We are definitively told that she is not the same woman who appeared in the Medieval and Western issues, but part of a lineage.
I know some people are frustrated by the slow plot progression in this series, but I don’t mind it really. I like the gradual drib-drab of new information, and how each new answer poses a new question. As always, Sean Phillips’ art is the perfect complement to Brubaker’s script, these two are just a perfect team, almost symbiotic. These last few issues have been very exciting, and it’s been cool to see Bru and Phillips stretch their legs into other genres, but I am ready to get back to the main plot, with Nicolas in prison. I think the next arc is set in mid-90s Seattle though, which is intriguing, will we discover that Kurt Cobain was a demon like all or grandmas told us?