By Carey Bates (Writer), Paul Gulacy (Pencils & Inks), and Rain Beredo (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: If the True Believers mini-series is testing the waters for a new ongoing title, then so far it has done a pretty good job of selling the team. The odd characters are unique, the artwork is impressive, and the twisting storyline has been quite engaging. Here’s to hoping that the fifth chapter can wrap up the various plot threads well enough to bring everything to a satisfying conclusion.

The Story: The true nature of the S.H.I.E.L.D. project known as “Anathema” is revealed as the True Believers try to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Max Trent. With all leads pointing to S.H.I.E.L.D. commander Mariah Hill, the team kidnaps her for information. Obviously, Tony Stark is none too happy about that!

What’s Good: For all the twists featured throughout the mini-series, True Believers #5 manages to bring everything together for a satisfying conclusion. And since the “Anathema” project proves to be much more interesting than I had originally thought, the True Believers successfully manage to leave a mark on the Marvel Universe. I sincerely hope the characters are used again sometime in the future, as the successes of the mini-series proves they have the potential to carve out a nice little niche for themselves.

What’s Not So Good: Despite the fact that the story finishes in a satisfying manner, I couldn’t help but be annoyed by the large amount of exposition used to iron out the plot. There is a LOT of dialogue in the book and almost all of it is used to explain one thing or another. In other words, it feels like the story relies on an information dump instead of a natural path to get to the conclusion. Another thing worth noting is how out of date the story feels when all is finally revealed. Had the series come out awhile back, I believe it would have had a much greater impact on the overall scheme of things.

Conclusion: Satisfying, yet still disappointing, True Believers #5 ultimately leaves me confused concerning the editorial decisions regarding the release of the mini-series as a whole.

Grade: C

-Kyle Posluszny