February 8, 2009

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Losers Volume 4

Written by Andy Diggle
Illustrated by Jock and Ben Oliver
Vertigo

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed this time out, as the usually sharp Andy Diggle writes himself into a corner by not cleanly addressing the big reveal from the end of the last trade. Had I been reading in single issues, I'd have probably been pissed.

As it stands, I was merely annoyed by the fact that the surprise link between Aisha and the rest of the Losers is buried, where I felt it was festering while other cool action took place. I'm hoping that there was a real point for handling thing as he did, but if not, that's going to be a blotch on the record for this one.

The main thrust of this penultimate trade is that as the Losers get closer to Max, the closer they realize that there's more to Max's plans than meet the eye. The stakes get higher and even the help of our rogue CIA agent may not be enough. (I have to admit, I saw the two anti-Max factions getting together from a mile away, another reason why this set of issues was less interesting to me.)

So how does one catch a Max? Well, first of all, try to take down the bank he owns, and if they give you any trouble, use the new Fuji blade disc, adaptable to any computer DVD player. Meanwhile, take over a micronation (yay micronations!) and use it to hack the system. There's only one problem---if an old enemy comes back to life. the plan may fail.

Yes, Diggle goes there. And while it leads to some interest dialog, it also puts Aisha so far out of character as to be unrecognizable and drops the Losers into the same cliches for this type of story that Diggle had thus far worked so hard to avoid.

The rest of the trade features the Losers vs. this person as they struggle to keep some extremely powerful sea junk out of Max's hands. The final battle does feature one of my favorite sequences as Jensen gets show he's more than the geeky comic relief. "I underestimated you." "Colonel Franklin Clay, you are not the first man to make that mistake."

The story's still entertaining but I think the quality dipped a bit this time. We'll see how the series finishes once the library gets it to me.