Advance Review: The Dregs #4 (of 4)

The final issue of this detective, conspiracy, Sweeny Todd mash-up comes to close on June 28th, with Arnold finally coming face to face with the enemy and getting the answer, that truth be told, he doesn’t really deserve.

Back at the beginning of the trail, Arnold gets an invite that he cannot turn down.  From there, the darkness that he has been fighting so long, seeks to turn the dinner tables on him and show Arnold the error of his ways.  Still, Arnold has travelled so long, fought so hard that he stands his ground, even going as far to deliver his evidence to the powers that be.  It’s at this point we are reminded, painfully so, that we have bought into Arnold’s perceptions of his world and as such we share his emotional roller coaster during the tumultuous conclusion.

Writers Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson have crafted a tale that entices its audience with a world that encompasses the dregs of human nature, rather the dregs of the city that we traversed with Arnold as our tour guide.  Nadler and Thompson have taken the time to cast their net wide and it has captured our attention.  Arnold represents each of us as we go about our daily business, as we strive against the shackles of our own challenges and responsibilities.  That may sound dark, but in reality, this is a dark story even as Arnold has he epiphany.

Eric Zawadzki’s art in this book is spectacularly good.  Looking back through the previous issues, the storytelling is beyond excellence.  Here Zawadzki has his work cut out for him with the restaurant, the streets and the “trip-out” which, with all the Don Quixote quotes and references (go Google la Mancha), happily shows a titled windmill. In addition, Zawadzki’s work doesn’t suffer with the amount of talking heads that are required in the first few pages.  This is achieved through some great camera angles in the restaurant, leading to the first of many heart breaks for Arnold.  Dee Cunniffe provides the colors for the book, which  carries the weight of intimation and works well in conjunction with the art and the story.

At times, this series has been a difficult read.  In no part is this an indictment on any of the creative team.  It’s just that the superhero fan in me, expects good to always triumph over evil.  Whilst this is obviously an unrealistic viewpoint, a large part of me wanted a happier ending for Arnold.  Still, as in life, the best that you can expect is to have to make a decision tempered with the hope that you make the right one.

The Dregs #4 is out on June 28th and is due to be collected in trade paperback (along with some extra goodies) on July 26th.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars

(W) Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson (A) Eric Zawadzki (CA) Dariusz Zawadzki

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