Story: David Hine & Brian Haberlin
Art: Brian Haberlin
Colours: Geirrod Van Dyke
Letters: Francis Takenaga
Here we are at the end of what has for me been a really good book. I have really enjoyed the sci-fi setting, the robot Moses, Vasquez and her tortured past and space pirates with a cause. It’s thrown a lot of curveballs throughout but this ending not only sticks the landing but does so in a way that left me speechless in all the best ways. This really is a solid finale to a really good book.
At the end of the last issue Moses had dramatically killed poor Davies. I love Moses as a character because he now has a habit of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. His loyalty to Vasquez is so absolute he will kill for her, lie to her but at the end of the day he does it to protect her. It’s a wonderful characterisation for a robot and I love how you have that combination of programmed loyalty and bypassed programmed morality. It makes Moses still very much an AI and not a human character whilst still being a character with real depth.
Vasquez also has real depth as here she’s put to the test and Moses provides an excellent moral contrast. Vasquez, despite her horrific past, still has a moral fibre. She’s shocked at Moses’s actions yet at the same time she can understand them. She can also understand Kongre which is why she agrees to his more honourable idea of ending the standoff. Vasquez is not one to hide away in The Lighthouse she needs to face things head on. Quite literally as she and Kongre do battle in suits that can give feedback. It’s a big gamble.
I won’t say how things end because there are a couple more twists to the tale as we reach the climax. If you went in thinking this would be just about two people punching each their in battle suits you would be wrong. There is a lot going on here and it is only toward the end that the truth is finally revealed and it is shocking.
The art is still brilliant. The actual battle suit fight is so well done because you can feel the suits moving in lesser gravity using rocket boosters to manoeuvre. It feels very much grounded in space if you’ll pardon the seeming contradiction. There’ a weight but also a weightlessness as Vasquez and Kongre fight to get the upper hand. It’s almost balletic in the way they move and the lightness of touch on the art really gives it a great atmosphere with real stakes I just cannot praise the art enough on that one.
I also can’t praise it enough with regards to the panel layout. I have always found it interesting and his final issue is no exception. The battle scenes with the quieter character conversations juxtaposed on top works really well. However, that’s not the only nice bit of panel use. There’s a really nice full page with only one small panel to shown the planet of Libertaria. Then there ae wonky panels for some pace moments. Pages with just four large panels. The mix really suits the part of the story being told.
I don’t want to go too deeply into spoilers because I think this this a book best discovered through experiencing those gasp out loud moments and I had a few over the course of this book. If you want to know if there; resolution then yes there is to all the plot threads you may have been following Vasquez’s arc feels pretty complete. To say more than that though would rather spoil the impact of what actually happens.
So trust me when I say this is worth a really read.
If you like space, space politics, war veterans, slightly deranged robots and some serious twists and turns check out Jules Verne’s Lighthouse now the story is complete.