Crush & Lobo # 8: Self-awareness

It’s a self-aware comic as if there hadn’t been any before it. The timing, narrative flow, and urgency for a miniseries ending breaks the fourth wall in quite specific ways (“You might be wondering how long we’re going to stay in this ill-designed room watching Crush and Lobo being held up in weird chairs.” is literally a line in the script), as if Tamaki is telling us that she has more stories to tell, but, sadly, that’s the end of it. This self-awareness travels a long mile in this somewhat rapid closure, in which Lobo and Crush find themselves as far apart as they started. This is not a family reunion, and Lobo is not going to make up for it in a restorative way for his daughter, the wound is not being treated.

But that doesn’t make this comedic story static, because the journey taught Crush that this pain, this heartbreak, is something she has to face, explore, live with, not run away from. To go back to the places that hurt until you learn to do things differently. It’s a powerful lesson in assertiveness and a complex character study, and, while the bombastic action visuals of Nahuelpan serves to convey the message of fight or flight before this realization, this last number shines best when it becomes intimate, personal, close to the characters and filled with emotions. Bonvillain and Maher are, as always, the perfect fit for this dynamic and mood-changing book. And yes, probably the visuals of this last issue are not so interesting like what we’ve seen this team do before, or like mind blowing, but the message arrives, the story ends, and it’s impossible not to feel warmth and understanding for this incredible character. And you can’t overstate the importance of having this complexity and depth in the arc of an LGBTQ + character. I’m really glad this series existed.

Daniel K. Denny