August 1, 2016

Top Cow Reviews: Postal #13

postalPostal #13
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Isaac Goodhart
Colorist: K. Michael Russell
Cover: Linda Sejic

I didn’t like this issue. However, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t LIKE this issue. The beginning of this new arc for Postal hits just as hard, if not harder than the past issues penned by Bryan Hill. He reintroduces us to Rowan who hasn’t been seen in quite some time. Like most of the population of Eden, Rowan has a criminal past and his has finally caught up to him. However, in Eden they roll deep and protect their own regardless of your past transgressions. So when the town’s Mayor finds out that war may be coming she sets out to get to the bottom of it and tries to make sure Rowan is alive after the smoke clears.

From Linda Sejic’s cover you might notice that Rowan may have views some may not agree with. It’s this part of his character that Hill handles with an unflinching look and depth that makes Rowan a little more than just “angry white supremacist”. He does this by not so much as giving us an origin story but more of a snapshot of his mode of thinking at one point in his life. Rowan is having a familiar conversation coming from people who run in those circles. This leads up to his hate crime which is what lands him in prison. As we go back and forth between past and present, Hill provides some of the most potent inner dialogue for Rowan that fleshes out this character more in a few panels than some do in an entire issue. Then he knocks it clear out of the atmosphere with one line from Rowan that frames his entire mode of thinking now and how he’s making amends for what he did.

Goodhart has just been amazing on this series and this issue here is just another example of why. That quiet opening sequence right before the graphic reveal is one of many great looking moments. This issue also sees a new colorist take over and K. Michael Russell holds it down from start to finish. The softer colors used in the flashbacks give them a subtle, vintage feel when compared to the present day panels. When the bullets start flying the two of them make it worth looking at several times. It’s a well choreographed, kinetic action sequence that doesn’t hold back on the blood and surprises. The only gripe with that entire part is that Laura mentions six but we only see five on the table after the firefight. Five what you might ask? Read the issu

To touch briefly on why I didn’t like the issue and it was for personal reasons that deals with Rowan’s particular hate crime. It hits very close to home with me since it’s something that actually happened to a young man in Jasper, Texas. I was growing up in Houston when the news hit and it was a very turbulent time for a while afterwards. But again, this also goes to show how excellent a storyteller Hill is. I could have come out of this bored or indifferent being that I lived through this and had a front row seat but the guy got a reaction out of me and Postal is still on my pull list as it should be on yours.

The creative team shows that THIS is how you come back after a break! Postal just kicks in the door with everyone fired up and ready to deliver one of the best stories to come out this past week! If you’re new to the series you can still pick this issue up and be fine. The team gets you caught up before things start so you don’t need to have all the backstory to enjoy this issue. However, when you’re done you’ll want to go and grab the trades!

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