LUDOCRATS #5, available this Wednesday from Image Comics, brings one of the most comical, inane, and quirky series to a close – and it does it with gusto. Naturally, the series like no others must find a most original way to conclude.
Ludocrats has been a ride right from the start, with the entire cast of characters abhorring anything that could potentially be considered mundane or otherwise boring. They’ve romped through their world, and done their all to protect their ludicrous ways (literally).
Unfortunately, all good (and chaotic) things must come to an end. That means that Ludocrats too, ends here with the fifth issue. On the bright side, that means that there’s going to be a whole lot less naked Otto in your future…probably.
Ludocrats #5 is every bit the quirky conclusion fans could have hoped for. No, strike that. It is ten times quirkier and crazier than that, with lots of fun, twists, and countless references and jokes. It makes for a memorable conclusion, to say the least.
If you ever needed proof that the writers, Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol know how to take a breathe and have a bit of fun, look no further than Ludocrats. This series has never taken itself too seriously (they’d be offended by the very idea). Yet this final issue felt like it brought that element to a whole new level.
Though maybe that is merely the number of fourth-wall breaks towards the end that end up giving it that impression. Either way, this issue works hard to say goodbye to a series that was as standout as it was insane.
At this point in the series, one might think that there is no room left for twists or surprises. After all, Ludocrats has kind of pulled out all the stops. But as it turns out, you’d be wrong. The major twists that come at the conclusion are exactly that – utterly unexpected, altering the tone. And then altering it again. In true Ludocrats fashion. It’s actually the perfect ending, when you think about it.
The artwork inside Ludocrats #5 is every bit as energetic and chaotic as the storyline it portrays. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise as this point. Otto and his friends (Enemies? Frenemies?) have quite the romp over this world, and it simply would not have been the same without the artwork to support it.
Jeff Stokely was the lead artist, and thus the lead chaos infuser. Meanwhile Tamra Bonvillain provided those bright and merry colors, and Clayton Cowles the bold and sometimes dangerous lettering (but really, how often does one get the opportunity to run away with lettering?).
What is impressive about the artwork in this particular issue is that it contains two completely different art styles. There’s the usual quirkiness, and then there’s a darker and intentionally morose style, which is a pleasant twist.
Bonus points for the inclusion of dozens of portraits at the very end of this issue. Variant covers, character portraits, and previous works all make an appearance in the end. It’s unusual, but it absolutely fits the style of this series. Artists included in the fray are Jamie McKelvie, Kris Anka, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt, Darko Lafuente, Mirka Andolfo, and Skottie Young.
In short, Ludocrats #5 is without a shadow of a doubt the most chaotic conclusion this reviewer has ever seen – and it isn’t afraid to celebrate in that fact. This series has truly been a unique (and ludicrous) series, from start to finish.