Virtues of the Father
Leave it to Ryan Sook to still nail it when giving us a simple cover. Sure it's essentially just Kass about to stab a murderer while her father watches, but it's THE COLORS that make this image leap and thrive. The cool casual blue in the alleyway, a moment almost frozen in time, AS A DYNAMIC EMOTIONAL WOMAN RAISES A KNIFE TO A CREEPY MAN. And Savage stands between this time freeze and the yellow life of the city. The real world. He's overjoyed to see Kass cross the threshold. And it's Savage, the calm one, who is more centered and upright in this image. Kass' whole scene is tilted at a slightly unnerving angle. But mostly it's the colors.
I saw some prediction's of the killer's identity, predictable, yet seemingly unavoidable ones. But what Robinson has given us for an answer is very much not that, quite brilliant. There's still a bit of a lack of a proper explanation as to why he's so deformed, but I can mostly let that slide.
There's some nice moral issues raised here, the reasoning for the imitation murders makes perfect sense; and it leads into a huge discussion of what it means to be a son or a daughter; and what the true influence of a father is or should be. Vandal Savage shows that he has the compassion of a father deep down inside, though he places a bit too much value on the idea of being a mold to replicate, as opposed to a model to help guide the mold making.
The fight scene in this issue is really nice, setting itself apart from most fight scenes the way it intercuts various flashbacks and asides of Kass. The panels are very smartly laid out so that the intercuts are as visual as they are tonal.
In Conclusion: 4.5/5
This issue isn't as strong as the opener, but not as weak as the transition. The only real hole was the lack of explanation for the killer's bizarre mutation. It was just kind of thrown in there, and makes me wonder why he was mutated at all, it had very little vital relevance. But the rest was outstanding, the only problem being the cliffhanger. I take this series as one meant to be standalone tales, not foreshadowers of things to come. In that regard, Deadman's the only story done completely right so far.