Saturday, May 20, 2017

Royal City #3 Review and **Spoilers** (Image)

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99       

After a second issue slump I’m hoping this third issue of Royal City picks me back up and wraps me in its rural sadness. The family is pretty well established at this point it’s just a matter of getting down to the things that make them tick and possibly bring them together. So let’s jump in and see where this third issue actually takes us.

Where the last issue seemed to focus on just Patty where it really felt like we didn’t get a whole lot of information, I feel this issue does the exact opposite. We get a lot of everyone and sprinkled in is a good amount of tidbits of just more of the family’s ongoing issues.
We get Tara where at first she starts off with a dream where she is looking for her father and when she finds him he is holding a baby where he then starts to make the sound of an alarm clock. The place where Peter is seems very similar to where we have seen him in the past where the houses are radios. Beyond this we get some more information of Tara and her personal issues. Her husband is now starting an uprising within the factory and may have Tara’s real estate deal, and to a greater scale her marriage, in jeopardy.

Meanwhile we get Pat and the down-on-his-luck brother Richie in the car together where we left them from the last issue. Richie learns of his father’s stroke but he seems more interested in getting to work for once as we learned in the last issue that he’s in need of money.  As Richie bails out of the car we get a quick glimpse of the mother as she and a priest pray over Peter. After, while she is going for snacks, she is approached by another older man at which point she storms off angrily. Giving the impression there was some infidelity in the relationship before the stroke occurred.
The last little bit we get is with Patty as he is once again pressured by his editor to get his book in or forfeit the advance and pay it back. He catches a glimpse of a woman who seems to recognize Pat before she turns and heads off the other way, but it seems as if Pat himself doesn’t recognize her. He then heads into a diner to write as we learn even more of the baggage Pat is carrying around with him.

Although this issue didn’t progress much, the emotional impact was felt a lot more than the previous issue. With just hints of some things while outright blurting out others, the story is doing a great job a layering the intricacies of pain that is involved in this story. No character is left untarnished and even after you think you know each characters shortcomings they continue to go deeper.  My only real gripe is that I feel we’re not really progressing much. We may uncover new issues within each character, but we still aren’t finding much out about what is bringing them together or what exactly set them on this path of sadness. When we continue to see glimpses of the younger brother or the father in his other world we’re left wondering if this is meant for the long haul or is there some kind of shorter arc working as well? It’s just hard to tell where we’re going.

Bits and Pieces:
This issue still doesn’t progress the story overall but it does what I’ve come to expect from Lemire and that’s instill a strong sense of emotion and depression within its characters. We get more glimpses of the individual character’s issues but still not much to mention on what is happening in an overall sense.

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