|Cover by David Aja|
Red Skull: Incarnate #4 (October 27, 2011)
Writer: Greg Pak
Penciller: Mirko Colak
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Inker: Mirko Colak
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
This has been the weakest thus far in the Red Skull: Incarnate series. That is particularly disappointing as this is the penultimate issue and should’ve whetted my appetite for the insane upcoming conclusion.
Don’t get me wrong; the last panel promised an exciting last issue with a crazy-sounding plan that I shan’t give away here. I only wish that the build-up to this final panel had been more exciting and had more plot to it than simply waiting around for Johann Schmidt to drop the crazy-plan-bomb.
Pak normally handles the pacing really well in these comics, but he got rather sloppy here. It was just terribly boring, which I never found before in the Red Skull: Incarnate series. The majority of the issue was simply Schmidt complaining about how he wasn’t given enough violent things to do after joining the Nazi cause, then antagonizing some SS officers and then revealing that maybe his apparent Nazi-sympathies are not all that they seem.
So far, I feel like Pak is portraying Schmidt, the future Red Skull, not so much as a dedicated Nazi but a sociopathic opportunist; sort of like a less charming Hans Landa. So right now, I’m a little confused and curious as to how he converts over into Red Skull and becomes the ultimate Nazi baddie. I haven’t read any other Red Skull comics so I would have to do some investigating to understand this.
The art, meanwhile, by Colak is still impressive and very strong, though he does tend to illustrate the faces rather grotesquely. I guess he’s doing it on purpose. Nonetheless, his illustrations of crumbling Germany are pretty amazing and atmospheric, perfectly emphasized by the drab grays and blood reds of Wilson’s coloring. If anything else, the art of the Red Skull: Incarnate series is one of the most memorable aspects of it. I’m only hoping that the conclusion is as strong and demonstrates Pak’s skills as a writer.