By: Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft (writers), Attila Futaki (art), Greg Guilhaumond (colors) & Fonografiks (letters)

The Story: It’s the finale!  How does little Jack get away from the cannibal?

Four Things: 

1. Creepy and disturbing! – Man, does this team understand horror or what?  Most monologues by villains/killers are contrived, but hearing the killer in Severed go through his motivations for picking Jack was really something: The dude actually gets off on crushing the dreams of children.  The bigger their dreams, the more he likes to eat them.  I also love that there was no attempt to make this guy redeeming.  We didn’t have to see his childhood and understand what made him a monster; nope, he’s just an evil monster who devours children.  A couple other moments really stuck with me too: the panel on page 2 where the killer is shown from above with a long shadow behind him AND the ending when the killer is yelling after Jack.  This story will stick with us!

2. Excellent art! – There isn’t much more to say about this art that I haven’t already said here and here.  But, for those who haven’t been following along, the art is splendid.  Futaki is laying down some wonderful lineart.  I mean, this stuff is among the most vital and lifelike art you’ll see from an artist who is working in a mostly realistic style.  If we had more artists like Futaki, I probably wouldn’t mind realistic art so much.  I only hope that less talented artists aren’t being inspired by him.  But, it doesn’t stop there.  Usually with lineart as good as Futaki’s, the colorist needs to just not screw up: don’t add stupid highlights, don’t ruin the light sources, don’t mess up the depth in the panels, etc.  But Guilhaumond actually improves the overall look of the book.  His colors are what make this book look so smelly, sweaty and dusty.

3. Room for more stories. – I’d wondered how these guys were going to end this story but still leave room for more.  Well, I don’t want to spoil the ending, but they have several ways they can go.  There’s an obvious “present day” angle to play with, but they could also show us something from the last 50 years OR even something from the killer’s dark past.  Heck, we could even learn more about Jack!  Much like the time bouncing in American Vampire, Snyder and Tuft have given themselves a very flexible structure going forward.

4. Love Jack getting all bad-ass. – It’s a small item, but I think it was very important for the story to see Jack get all tough with the killer at the end.  Because of this, I LIKE Jack now in a way that I wouldn’t if he’d just run screaming from the building and gotten away.  What’s amazing about this sequence is that Jack was totally believable.  I mean., it’s a kid who is missing and arm and he’s going to do battle with an ancient monster and you actually feel like he’s going to win.  And he needs to win because otherwise the monster will just find him again.

Conclusion: A great finale to this miniseries.  I hope we haven’t seen the last of these characters and creative team.  You won’t find a better told and illustrated pure horror story in recent comics.

Grade: A

-Dean Stell

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  • This was a good issue, except for a couple wonky storytelling pages, like the splash page where Jack first cuts the killer, it was hard to tell what was going on, and I actually didn’t like the supernatural twist. It actually makes him less scary. I thought he was scary because he was just some guy who will just kill you for no reason. Making him immortal feels kind of cliche. I was hoping Severed would be more like Criminal, in that there would be different miniseries with different stories with similar settings or themes. I don’t know if I would just want this same killer again.

    • I felt the same way about that one page. It was just done drawn weird. But besides that, top notch art that is a nice change of pace from your average book. I don’t know if I believe that he is supernatural or immortal. He may just be a little delusional or skitzo or crazy like most killers tend to be.

      • Well he was an old man who survived being essentially blown up, before living for another 40 years without aging. Snyder has said that there may be more arcs of Severed, so that might be why.

  • Agreed! This was great. The only thing that sucks is that it was a finite series. Hopefully they do bring it back. The only nit pick I have is that I felt the ending was somewhat anti-climatic. We knew that he didn’t die as a kid. There wasn’t as much tension there as there should be. I thought that in the present they would confront each other again and that would be the big climax, but it was left open ended. He did set up a sequel nicely though.

    • dfstell

      Hey Scott….I hear what you’re saying. Actually, I didn’t mention it in the review, but knowing that the kid would be safe made it really important that the mom was put in danger. She kinda took his place from a dramatic standpoint.

      Snyder has said a few places that they MIGHT revisit this world and I’d love it if they do.