Banjax #4 // Review
All bloody good things must come to an end, right? Thankfully issue four of Banjax serves as more of a midseason finale, which means more skull crunching action is in store for readers in the future. Indie comics have a real keen sense for tight-knit storytelling that can be wrapped up neatly in only a few short issues. Banjax has continued this trend with this issue placing a blood-soaked bookmark in the story for the meantime. Rylend Grant, the writer, and creator of Banjax deliver another stellar story with his dynamite creative team featuring artist Fabio Alves, colorist Edson Ferreira, and letterer HdE. Grant is also currently nominated for a Ringo Award for his other series Aberrant. Laird Mason alias Banjax has been on a one-man warpath since issue one. Although one obstacle has consistently been in his way, his former partner. Abel Raines alias Gyro stepped out of his mentor’s shadow and built an empire, that is now crumbling thanks in part to Banjax. Raines must now look to confront his critics and overcome his fear of facing Banjax.
Banjax has his sights set on a professional criminal organization that will finally make his mission complete. Gyro has the eyes of the world on him after the debacle of his Cerberus program. Now Raines must decide if he wants to quietly walk away from his company. Or make one bold move and silence his naysayers by having a showdown with Laird Mason.
Series writer Rylend Grant has given readers quite the roller coaster ride in just four short issues. This series has focused heavily on Laird Mason and Abel Raines with each getting alternating installments that concentrate on them. Unfortunately, with only four chapters, some of the supporting characters don’t get a chance to flesh out, though what the reader is given only builds interest for more in future issues. The title of this issue is “One Bold Move,” and Grant certainly delivers on just about every page with the story. Supporting characters like Raines’ wife get in on the action, which unfortunately gets spoiled on the cover, but nonetheless is a dramatic moment in the story. Grant has really set up an exciting next chapter for the Banjax series, though has ultimately set a definitive end given Mason’s diagnosis. Only time will tell if Laird Mason will be able to complete his mission, or even if Abel Raines can rebuild his empire.
The rest of the creative team have worked like a well-oiled machine to bring Grant’s opera of violence to life. Fabio Alves’ artwork has been like a big action summer blockbuster on the pages. From the very first pages of this issue, Alves delivers destruction, and another of his staples, very detailed character faces. Alves always captures a moment of panic or terror with the faces he draws with eerily realistic detail. Banjax does get a new suit in this issue which is a significant change from the previous issues. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea as the old suit had really endeared itself to readers. However, for Laird Mason, desperate times call for desperate measures. Edson Ferreira’s great color-work is split throughout the series just like the main characters. The panels that showcase action sequences are colored with reds and oranges usually highlighting streetlights, blood, or the usual combo of both. Ferreira uses a combination of soft and hard blue colors for panels featuring Abel which are centered around technology. Later in the issue, Edson changes Abel’s color palate sharply to adapt to the changes in the story. HdE always has at least one-panel featuring lettering that the reader can almost hear because it accompanies an incredible yet sickening design by Alves. This issue features something quite small, yet just looking at this one panel of a needle injection with the accompanying lettering will give any reader squeamish to needles a chill.
The well-oiled machine that is the creative team behind Banjax has chapter one of this bloody tale wrapped up. There are still many unanswered questions left in this series, however, and with Laird Mason’s diagnosis the clock is running out. Readers will no doubt be waiting with eager anticipation for the next chapter in Banjax.