Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pull List Review: Casanova: Avaritia #4

Like both of the earlier Casanova series, I suspect that once I read Avaritia from top to bottom, I'm going to find I enjoy and notice a lot more about the finale than I did on my first read. This is a dense book, busting at the seams with chaos, and so this last issue is primarily just each of the innumerable plot threads charging forward to their inevitable, madcap conclusions through the force of their own momentum. What I'm saying is that, while visually stunning and still a whole lot of fun, there wasn't a great deal of newness to the content of Casanova: Avaritia #4. Things we'd already seen developed were played through, and in satisfying ways, but with the exception of the very final scene which, I assume, will help launch us into the next series, most of this felt unfortunately familiar.

Even if Matt Fraction's script wasn't all that spectacular, Gabriel Bá's art and Cris Peter's colors are worth the price of admission several times over. The sequence where every page shows panels of Sasa Lisi, Ruby, Benday & David X, AND Casanova is just stunning, and even better than that is Kaito's assassination of Cornelius. Best of all, though, is the gorgeous, haunting shot of Xeno's empty bandages flailing in the wind. In the midst of some of the most action-heavy insanity this title has seen, we have this powerfully poignant and quiet moment, and it steals the show completely.

As I said above, my problems with the story will probably be dissolved upon a reread, and it's not as if I take issue with any of the specifics of what happened. Everybody ends up in an appropriate place, and the Seychelle story seeded at the end looks like it's bound for greatness. The trouble is that, for this highly-anticipated closing to a long-awaited series, I wanted a few more surprises and less of a straightforward wrap-up. I was glad to see what I saw here, but not surprised by it, and I guess I was just expecting something more unexpected.

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