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20th Century Men #5 COMIC REVIEW: Lines are drawn between friends in a can't-put-it-down issue


Written by: Deniz Camp, Art by: S. Morian, Letters by: Aditya Bidikar.

 

Platonov discusses what he has suspected about Azra all along. She, along with others, have built their own civilisation. They are free to have a democratic discussion about topics, they trade so no longer need money, and they give security to help enforce their rules. Platonov can see how dangerous this is, a nation within a nation. Their own government will hate them, and they will be easy targets for the Americans. Azra explains they just want to be left alone. Meanwhile, Platonov also looks for paradise in the heart of Siberia, a place where everything is perfect. Even the superhero protector Revmir (works revolution) is a symbol to all, although things start to unravel and Platonov’s world is beginning to crumble.



This is now the second to last issue of the series. This was the first time since the debut issue that I was able to read the whole thing in one go. Not that the previous issue had been poor, they are just very heavy and can be a slog to get through. Despite it being complicated, I found this very interesting and couldn’t put the book down. One of the critiques I had from issue one was that Azra seemed to be the only “good” character. She still comes across as a decent person but she has been lying to Platonov the whole time about her intentions. He seems rather hurt by the end of their interactions in this issue. Deniz Camp is working this script beautifully from the characters' perspective. As I have said from the beginning, none are “good” nor “bad”, but just have their own views of the world and the war. This gives them well rounded profiles that are not just one-dimensional.

 

There was one flaw in this issue for me. The book centres around Platonov in two different locations and it’s difficult to determine where they sit in the timeline. Did he go to Siberia after he found out about Azra? This is unclear as both parts are intertwined. I would have liked it to be a bit clearer. This kind of storytelling isn’t new to the series, as in the first issue we had split timelines, but that was relatively easy to figure out when things took place. Although I did enjoy the way that Azra’s journal was woven into the book, explaining why she does and says the things she does. This helped her grow as a character, as we haven’t seen much of her through the series since the debut.



The artwork was beautiful as it always is. It was difficult to pick a few examples to show here as there was so many good panels. The first image above was hauntingly beautiful. A battlefield at dusk looking so peaceful, and yet there’s still a head on a spike. This really shows the complexities and the dichotomy of war, as the series has done so well to exemplify. There was however, one panel that made me question the art choice. One of the soldiers' faces was slightly long and concave, making him grotesque to the point that it didn’t fit the panel. Although one bad face doesn’t take away from the incredible artwork of Stipan Morian.

 

The issue was another bumper presentation at 55 pages long. I cannot knock the quality of the product with the writing and art being this good, you really get your money's worth from this incredible series. Even with the small flaws in both script and art, it’s still a 4 POPs out of 5. If those two minor issues had been fixed this could have been a contender for the perfect 5, but we should always strive for better no matter what the outcome.



20th Century Men issue 5 was released by Image Comics on 28th December from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology


 

Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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