By Matt Fraction (writer), Barry Kitson (breakdowns), Javier Saltares (pencils), Scott Hanna, Victor Olazaba & Nelson (inks), J. Roberts & Will Quintana (colors)
I’m a fan of The Order. Really, I am! But this last issue felt like a chore. Barry Kitson, the artist who made this book such a joy, had all but abandoned this book a few issues back. Sure he’s on breakdowns, but seriously, it means nothing to me. The finished art isn’t very good and there are times where it’s downright ugly thanks to lots of over coloring. How many people does it take to make a comic book? Eight, apparently. And because this book has so many people on it, it lacks any cohesion. It’s a Frankenstein of a book and it’s not pretty.
Matt Fraction isn’t getting off light, either. It’s like once he found out the book was getting canceled he (like Kitson) committed to finishing the run, but it’s obvious that his heart was no longer into it. The pacing is off-beat, the attempts at being clever are anything but, and the monologues are overbearing. Perhaps the only saving grace is the last third of this book which concludes a chapter of a member’s life and presses the reset button on the team.
What I found more interesting is where things go from here. Yes, this is the last issue, but the team will live on and I’ve got a hunch they’ll be showing up in Fraction’s upcoming Iron Man series. Speaking of Iron Man, Fraction has done a nice job sneaking old shell head into this storyline. In many ways, this last issue acts as a bridge to the aforementioned Iron Man series. The effects of what Ezekiel Stane has done (and promised) will undoubtedly echo throughout that series in the future. But honestly, I hope we never see him again. He’s one of the most annoying villains ever. On the flip side, the return of Pepper Potts into the Iron Man universe will surely make many old readers happy. But as for this series, I was initially sad to hear of its cancellation. But given the stories of the past two issues, I’m glad it’s over and we can all move on. (Grade: D+)
– J. Montes