reflection

A succinct and powerful finale, Lemire focuses the essence of Mazebook down to its inevitable bittersweet conclusion, thereby ending one of the best works of his career.
Writing/Plot
Art
Letters

Review: MAZEBOOK #5 – Finally Letting Go

From modern comics icon Jeff Lemire comes the finale of his most recent original outing in Mazebook #5. With lettering from Steve Wands, this final chapter is the devastating, bittersweet ending we all needed. With succinct yet powerful writing and his typical signature visuals at their best, this  chapter marks the end of some of the best work in Jeff Lemire’s library.

“As Will continues his fight across a dangerous metropolitan maze on the hunt to find his long-gone daughter, he comes face-to-face with his own literal monsters as he tries to find her and bring her home.”

Writing & Plot

Jeff Lemire hones in on the lessons needed to overcome grief in Mazebook #5. Will has finally followed the supposed message from Wendy to its inevitable conclusion. Here, he faces down monsters of his own making, and hears what he needs to hear. To say anything else would be a spoiler and disservice to what Lemire has crafted.

This final chapter feels more succinct than prior issues. This is due largely to this comic feels like a giant epiphany. This issue is packed with powerful moments of realization, all intercut by what are probably the two most powerful scenes in the whole series. Lemire creates these beautiful, rending sequences that blend the absolutely real with a dreamlike fantasy. This issue, and this entire series really, is an example of a giant therapeutic lesson on processing loss. The issue’s penultimate scene, where Will hears what he needs to hear, is painfully potent. The feelings and themes Lemire explores in this comic are relatable to pretty much everyone on the planet. As such, it would take an exception creative hand to produce something that doesn’t feel heavy-handed or overwhelming, nor insensitive.

Lemire captures human experience and combines it with the fantastical to create one of the most beautifully brilliant comic stories in recent memory.

Art Direction

There’s not much else to be said about Lemire’s work in Mazebook #5 that I haven’t said in prior reviews for the series. His signature scribbled, rough-hewn pencils continue to surprise with just how full of life and detail they are. Lemire captures powerful, emotionally devastating or triumphant scenes with a keen eye for human expression. These sequences have so much weight because of Lemire’s framing and direction, along with his deceptively sharp characterization prowess. Like in prior issues, he splices in pages with odd, almost novelty panel layouts. He crafts some sequences in panels shaped as pieces of the maze Will is racing through, tracing his journey through this dream-realm. The story never gets difficult to follow though, and its thoughtful design contributes to the book’s atmosphere.

The lettering from Steve Wands matches Lemire’s visuals perfectly. His hand-scrawled font captures a reading experience that relays the comic’s tone to the audience in a manner that continues to add to the atmosphere. This is, as always, a brilliantly put-together comic from the visual end.

Verdict

Mazebook #5 is a bittersweet gut-punch of an ending to this mini-series. Lemire crafts a finale full of revelations and cathartic moments that bring this story to an inevitable, beautiful conclusion. His signature visual style is the perfect vehicle through this story to be experienced through, with the wiry pencils and faint watercolors crafting a wholly unique atmospheric experience. Please be sure to grab this finale when it hits shelves on 1-12!.

 

Justin Munday
Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.
Review: MAZEBOOK #5 - Finally Letting GoA succinct and powerful finale, Lemire focuses the essence of Mazebook down to its inevitable bittersweet conclusion, thereby ending one of the best works of his career.