Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Losers: Endgame

The Losers: Endgame
The Losers: Endgame
Andy Diggle, Jock
& Colin Wilson
 "The seemingly unstoppable C.I.A. mastermind Max is about to play his final hand, and he's sitting on a whole pile of aces. With a brand-new country under his feet and a nuclear arsenal within his reach, Max is going all in—and the stakes are nothing less than the global balance of power itself.
As all the other players are folding, though, the Losers are still holding their cards—and they've got one last chance to raise the bet. But calling Max will cost them dearly, especially considering the joker they're about to be dealt."

   And so…this is it, the final chapter. The end of the mission. Losers vs Max. All roads lead to this point.
   So how is it then? Well….
   Ok, let me get my feelings out of the way first of all, I love this finale. I think it’s fantastic. But…I can see why a lot of people don’t.

   Endgame, sees the final stage of Max’s plan come to fruition. A massive undersea earthquake pushes the ground under Max’s oilrig to the surface, creating a new island nation which Max claims under the name New Jerusalem, threatening the rest of the world with nuclear destruction if his nation is not recognised.
   If that sounds a little hokey for a series that, up until now, has had a fairly realistic feel (You know, aside from the action movie sequences and that scene where the losers outrun an active volcano….you know what I mean) then, you’d be right.
   Ultimately, I think your enjoyment of this finale is largely dependent on your ability to suspend your disbelief. Yes, Max’s final plan is a little silly, but I still feel it makes sense within the context of the series. Throughout the comic, Max has been an untouchable figure, seemingly occupying an office completely out of reach of anyone in the US government. Becoming the king of his own nuclear armed nation kinda makes sense as his end goal, it’s the only way he can climb any higher. Comic book villains scheme to take over the world, Max actually does it, and in a way, that’s not completely outside the realm of possibility.

Final cover
   What really sells this finale however, is the same thing that’s kept the series so engaging up to this point, the characters. The losers feel different here. The certainty of victory, the wise cracking and one liners, feel absent. There’s a real sense among the group that this is the mission that they won’t come back from. That stopping Max is essential, but can’t have a happy ending.
   It’s this change of gear in our heroes that helps make this goofy Bond villain plot seem so credible. It feels like there are real stakes here.

   Aside from the main conclusion, there’s still a lot more going on here too. Roque captures and tortures Pooch, when the Losers follow him to one of the nuke drop off points, Fahd returns with his own agenda and, most importantly, we learn the true identity of the man behind the Max codename. It’s a cool and clever twist that I doubt anyone would see coming.
Andy Diggle   And, as ever, it’s all presented with some of the coolest art I’ve come across in comics. I know I’ve mentioned it in all five of these reviews, but Jock’s work just oozes with style and is the perfect fit for the series.

   This conclusion to the series might not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me it’s a great finale. The action is taken to ridiculous extremes, the characters are great, the art is gorgeous and it all leads to a not-quite-happy ending that wraps up the series perfectly.

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