Review: The Death of Speedy

I’ve been slowly reading through Love and Rockets for a while now.  Slow because there’s been something oddly lacking in the series to me up until now.  The Hernandez Brothers are incredible creators capable of some wonderful comics, but none of the early Love and Rockets collections have made me terribly eager to pick up the next volume.

That’s finally changed with the Death of Speedy (vol.7).  Brother Jaime hits his stride here, in all three stories.  First up is the title story, which lives up to its name.  Since the conclusion is inevitable the story wisely focuses on the build up of gang violence that leads to this sad event.  It’s an incredibly restrained tale, masterfully told.  

Jerusalem Crickets is up next in which Hopey’s band self destructs yet again and she’s left stranded somewhere in Texas.  It’s the weakest story of the bunch here, but still fun and well told.

Finally is In the Valley of the Polar Bears, in which Maggie goes on tour with her increasingly erratic Aunt, pro wrestler Vicki Glori.  This one wraps up an awful lot of simmering plots, Vicki’s wrestling career, Maggie’s conflicted feelings for Hopey, and Maggie’s relationship/living situation with her Aunt.  Thus its pretty much a deck clearing exercise, but executed perfectly and naturally.

This book just works.  After all this time I’m finally a fan of the series.

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