By: Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba (creators), Dave Stewart (colors) & Sean Konot (letters)
The Story: We finally get some answers to what is going on with Bras and why he keeps dying at the end of each issue.
What’s Good: For a change, Bras doesn’t die at the end of this issue. I had kinda assumed that Ba & Moon wouldn’t make the entire series about scenes from the guy’s life and then have him die at the end. Even though all of those issues ranged from good to spectacular, I was wondering what the bigger point was, but then each successive issue would come out without any hint that it would be tied together. I was frankly getting a little worried (which is silly given how incredible the first 8 issues of this limited series have been).
I won’t say that this issue makes it “clear” because it is very metaphysicial and if you wanted this series tied up with a neat bow on the top, I think you’ll be disappointed after issue #10 next month. But, we do start to get some clarity on what this series is about.
Not surprisingly, it is about life and the human condition. In life, Bras works as an obituary writer who tries to do a good job. He isn’t happy just writing up a date of birth and summary of family members and jobs held, he really tries to capture the essence of what made that person special and who they were. I think what we are getting here at the end of Daytripper is that Bras is dead and has been dead for the entire series and before his spirit can move on, he has the opportunity to re-experience the poignant moments from his life and that is what we have seen in issue #1-8. He dies at the end of each issue because he is, in fact, dead and nothing can change that. In a way, he is kind of writing his own obituary or the book of his own life. Imagine if after you died, your whole life was basically laid out before you and you were asked to edit it down into a 300-page book to tell the story of your life. It’s kinda like that.
Once again, the art and colors shine. That is nothing new. Ba and Moon are just superstars, but they mix things up in this issue. For the first time, it is explicitly stated that Bras is “dreaming”, so the art style shifts around a little to reflect this. We should also give a tip of the cap to Dave Stewart. Daytripper’s colors don’t grab you by the throat like his coloring on the Batwoman-Detective Comics did, but this coloring is no less impressive. The guy really knows when to use flat colors and allow the inking to provide the contours to an object and when to toy around with his own lighting. Stewart should actually get some credit for the expressiveness of the faces in Daytripper.
What’s Not So Good: This wasn’t a problem for me (and I want to be 100% clear on that), but I can see the ending of Daytripper being a LOT like the final episode of Lost. I do not think we’re going to get 100% clarity on every issue and it will not be wrapped up with a bow on it. Lots will be left up in the air for the reader to play with in their own mind. I think that is a dangerous thing for creators to attempt because most creators simply are not talented enough to writer AND draw something that is that deep and when they fail the end product is very unsatisfying, but I think Ba & Moon actually can do it. (fingers crossed)
So, if you were hoping that in the final issue you’ll see that Bras kept dying because it was parallel universes and we were seeing the whole thing through the eye of some space alien with a parallel universe viewer…you’re not going to be happy.
Conclusion: “Along for the ride” is a very overdone phrase in reviewing periodical stories, but it is very true in this case. Ba & Moon are spinning a wonderful tale that allows us to not only sit and watch, but also think about how it connects to our own life.
– Dean Stell