By: Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon (creators), oddly this issue has no credits or indicia

The Story: What if a family member leaves on a routine trip and you never see them again?

What’s Good: The Brazilian brothers found a way to mix this issue up without really straying from the same basic story that we’ve had since the first issue.  Throughout the series, our main character, Bras, has died at the end of every issue after we see a story from a day or so in his life.  Part of the reason this issue is so powerful is because Bras doesn’t make a single appearance in the entire issue; we see the story completely through the eyes of his wife and young child who are going about their days while Daddy is traveling on business.

What the creators do so well is capture the exact emotions of what being a parent and having a traveling spouse is like.  “We” all like to talk about how comics have much more mature themes than they used to have because they’re more violent or have more sexual situations, but this issue of Daytripper is the real deal.  I just cannot imagine this comic having the same impact on someone who is 22, unmarried and without kids as it does on a parent with a spouse who travels sometimes.  They nail all the emotions: missing your spouse, the disruption in your daily routine by having to do your spouse’s daily tasks, the pleasure of having a child all to yourself, the voice mails and texts going back and forth, the minor irritation that the spouse isn’t there to “help” and (at the end) that little fear in the back of your mind: What if they don’t come home?

Even though this issue is yet another gut punch, I really appreciate a work that can make me feel much of anything on an emotional level without having to resort to shock and gore.  Try getting this level of emotional reaction from an Avengers comic!

What’s Not So Good: With yet another comic this week, I really don’t have anything negative to say about this issue.  I’ve been asking for months for a change up and I got one.  I will offer a thought on the format of the series and this gives me some minor glee as an exclusive single issue buyer: I’m not sure this is going to work that well as a trade.  If you want to get the effect, you’re going to have to discipline yourself to reading a chapter a month because this series really needs time to breath and quite time to contemplate all the subtlety.

Conclusion: Even without sex or violence, the phrase “Suggested for mature readers” has never been more true.

Grade: A-

– Dean Stell