‘Suicide Risk: Volume 4’ Comic Review
First off, I have to admit I am not a long time follower of Suicide Risk. Reviewing this volume of the series is my first real exposure to the book. So please, bear in mind, I will be talking about how well it structures and conveys a story in this single volume rather than how it moves the overall plot forward.
The story begins with Tracey Winters recovering from learning some hard truths about her self. Once she regains her composure she goes in search of her aunt, Diva, who knows the truth about her. Diva reveals a history of another civilization where her sister gave birth to Tracey and named her Terza. It is revealed that Tracey is actually a personality created by a computer and is only three years old along with the rest of her known family. She is named handmaiden of the goddess of her previous life and is granted a boon which allows her to find her “deceased” father (her father’s fake identity had been overwritten by her biological father). Her old father, without a body, and her biological father with little to no compassion for his alternative identity, are put together inside of the identity database to see who will keep the body. Tracey discovers the solution to the conundrum by reuniting with her past personality. The villains of the story decide to take action with this new development. They awaken and reinstate Tracey/Terza’s mother’s original personality.
Mike Carey has done a great job writing a well structured tale that presumably builds on what has come before in the story to create a single narrative for this particular volume of the series. As I said at the beginning of this review, I’m completely unfamiliar with the series, but I can say a story with a beginning, middle, and end is contained within this collection. He writes a good character in Tracey that goes through both an action and emotional arc. The supporting cast also get moments to shine but this seems to be mostly Tracey’s story.
Filipe Andrade handles art duties on the first chapter of the collection while the rest are drawn by series regular, Elena Casagrande. Andrade’s chapter is filled with frenetic action and brimming with a style that reminds me of graffiti artists. His linework is always creating a sense of movement and litheness to the characters and the goings on around them. He draws some really nice beasties for Tracey and Diva to fightoff. Casagrande’s strength is emotions. Every character’s feelings shine through in her close ups. That’s not to say she doesn’t acquit herself nicely in the action beats of her chapters. She just excels in her dialogue scenes, costume design, and environments.
Our story starts with this particular volume’s central character, Tracey/Terza, in a state of confusion. With her seemingly newfound powers, she goes to find her aunt. This is what some would call the catalyst of the story. Tracey’s powers and recent discoveries are what create a situation for her to go on her journey. Her meeting with her Aunt, new revelations, and the boon from the goddess are the big events that change her life in a major way and set her on the path for the rest of the story. She becomes fully committed when she finds her father is just a composite, made up personality put into her biological father’s body that’s been erased. A crisis occurs when she realizes there might be no way for her to get her father back. The showdown between the two aspects of her father is the climax of the book to see who will get the body. This is also important in an overall way, as the “fake” father personality is the main character in the actual series from what I’ve read. The realization that the two personalities need to coexist together, found by this volume’s main character, Tracey/Terza, to fight the villains is the ending and closure to the story.
The fact that this is an actual complete story in one volume allows me to enjoy it to a certain degree on it’s own, and makes me want to pick up the other volumes of the story to fully understand what is going on. There’s a lot of mythology here folks, but also a complete, fun read.