buckshot's The Secret History of The Authority: Jack Hawksmoor #5 - Highways & Byways review

Can this possibly get any better?

That was incredible. I don't know what I was expecting, but I got so much more. The biggest thing was the explanation. It was all explained here. Not just what's going on with this miniseries, not just what happened to Jack that made him what he is, but almost a whole universe based around what Jack is, was revealed in this issue. I can't really explain it without messing it up or just not saying everything. You should read it to find out. It's great though. More than I could ever have imagined. (I realize I'm really gushing and I was about to say maybe I'm biased because I like Jack, but no, I refuse to qualify my statements. It's really good.) Anyway, as for how they did it (not what it was, but how they revealed it) they really played with my emotions. I didn't know it would all be explained but then they started to do it and I got excited, but then it looked like they weren't going to explain it and I felt teased, cheated and a little angry. But THEN they changed it so how they presented it was even better than it would have been before. Those 3 panels were a roller coaster ride and that's before the good stuff even started. Then they did the whole explanation thing and that was great if I haven't said that enough. That wasn't all that happened, it's just the part I liked the best. The rest of the issue was great stuff too. There were a couple twists in there, one of which was about the character Sal. I saw that one coming from when he first showed up and I felt rewarded for that, but it was still dramatic and its own little moment when it came. There was another twist which I thought was great since I love triple-crosses. (I think it may actually have been a quadruple-cross, might have lost track.) Between this issue and the previous one (and a little from the one before that I guess) I've really started to like one of the bad guys. He's not just some lame villain, he's got a personality that really added to his character, but I think everyone did so no big surprise there. I just love the way this is written. And illustrated. It's been good the whole way through (a little different from normal stuff, but it worked in this book) but I thought the art was especially good in this issue when it switched to the explanation of Jack and his whole deal. The ending was also well done. Without getting into specifics, Jack cleaned things up so the last issue can be dedicated to the real problem, the man behind the curtain, the guy pulling the strings, without stupid distractions. And the entrance of the final boss? Also great. The location is familiar, got a couple ideas on what that could mean, but I'll wait and see. There's a big middle chunk that I didn't really talk about, but I want to read that again.

So, all in all, great. The origin that's here (built off SHotA: Jenny Sparks) is not quite the same as Ellis' original idea. Ellis had aliens do it and SHotA:JS made it future humans. Not really a big deal to me (future humans could be a lot like aliens), but some people care. In a Hawksmoor short that came after SHotA:JS, Ellis kind of addressed that and gave his opinion on the change (he made it aliens again). This story doesn't work without the future humans though so I'm glad that idea is what is being used. The future and the gods of cities were just great concepts. I'm interested to see how much the stuff in this series gets used in future books.


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