Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5 Review


Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Riley Rossmo
Colors by: Ivan Plascencia
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Cover art by: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: February 13, 2024

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5 brings the chickens home to roost when the Sandman goes after Col. Breckinridge for stealing Dodds's research journal and framing Kluge.
Is Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5 Good?

Robert Venditti sets up the pins before knocking them down in Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5. In the penultimate issue, you get plenty of Sandman action, secrets revealed, and a last-minute twist that paves the way for a dramatic finale.

When last we left Wesley Dodds, he concluded that Vanderlyle and Col. Breckinridge were partners in killing Kluge and burning down the Dodds's home as a cover to steal Wesley's research journal. When Wesley moved to confront Vanderlyle, he found the Fog strangling Vanderlyle. In the scuffle, the Fog fell through the skyscraper window to his death.

Now, the Sandman infiltrates Fort Hamilton to capture Col. Breckinridge, still believing the Colonel is at the heart of this conspiracy. The Sandman succeeds and spirits the one-armed officer away to an abandoned warehouse for interrogation. There, the Sandman secretly records the Colonel confessing to stealing the journal and framing Kluge because any price is worth paying for total military victory.

You might think the mystery is solved, and all is set right, but no. There's one more person in on the conspiracy, and that character isn't through with bloodshed or Wesley's research journal.

What's great about Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5? Venditti delivers a tight, dramatic, well-paced, action-packed script. Wesley's moral angst over being the root cause of lethal gassing is still present, but Wesley's angst fuels his action and determination to get the job done, which elevates his status as a hero.

What's not so great about Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5? This issue confirms the Fog is dead, and while his ending makes sense, his character development, in hindsight, was lacking. It would have served this story better to make the Fog a more pivotal character instead of a generic henchman.

How's the art? It's fine for what it is. Riley Rossmo's grotesque noir style is certainly an acquired taste, and this mini-series is still a more subdued version of Rossmo's art, but it's as good as it's going to get, so it's fine.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Wesley Dodds: The Sandman #5 brings the penultimate issue to a close with the end of the mystery before a last-minute twist sets up a physical and emotional conflict in the finale. Venditti's detective noir style and execution are on point, and Rossmo's art is as good as it gets in this issue, so here's hoping the creative team can stick the landing.


1 comment:

  1. If you want to write about Thanagar or some imaginary dimension or Darkseid, and any of the other sci-fi nonsense, sure who cares what you write. But when you are writing about the WWII era, there is a responsibility to have some credibility to reality.

    I keep trying to figure out if any of the "New Golden Age" writers remember we were fighting Nazi Germany in WWII. I am fine with all of their retcon story lines, but if they are going to put them in WWII-era, there are actual facts, and a lot of recorded history about the time. After Germany mass-murdered people with chemical warfare in WWI, they were building mass storages of Sarin chemical gas (12,000 tons), and of course mass-murdering millions in concentration camps with cyanide gas. A year before this 1940 story, in 1939, Nazi Germany starting chemical gassing people in Poland and by the time of this story they had 8 chemical gas murder center to eliminate undesirables to the Nazi regime. Then of course, the Holocaust. No excuses for any USA military corruption, but lets never forget what did actually happen.

    And I am starting to wonder if any of these writers know anything about the USSR yet? (As if Wesley contacting the USSR would work (massive eyeroll).) Did any of these writers actually finish high school? (Not perjorative, serious question). Or what did they learn?

    Let's be clear, we want to address USA's "sins" in WWII, the writers need to turn to Oppenheimer (wildly praised) and his insane atomic bomb, which was used on two mass casuality attacks in Japan. THAT would be a compelling and honest story. Yes, I know it is FICTION. But let us also remember WHY the JSA was so popular, and it was a counterargument to the truly depraved and unhinged enemies the world faced in WWII.