REVIEW: The Sheriff of Babylon vol. 2: Pow. Pow. Pow. by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

Sheriff of Babylon (2015-2016) Vol. 2: Pow. Pow. Pow. (Sheriff of Babylon (2015-))Sheriff of Babylon (2015-2016) Vol. 2: Pow. Pow. Pow. by Tom King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The second (and final) trade of Sheriff of Babylon kept the story moving in all the right ways. The arcs of each main character beautifully split away from the others and then twine themselves back together in this volume. We end off with a sense of false closure and uncertainty, but by no means does that imply that this story arc felt unfinished.

Tom King's easy familiarity with this depraved murder story set in Iraq just after the Gulf War is almost scary. He has a hold on each of these characters -- or maybe they've got a hold on him -- and we are guided through a complicated, but clearly depicted world of deceit and trust, zealotry and insincerity, control and terror. Eventually we reach the end, but what questions have really been answered is for the individual reader to decide.

And please do not forget Mitch Gerads' art. For the most part Sheriff has a reserved, Sepia-toned color palette that really contributes to the desert aesthetic without being too obvious. When he moves away from that, he does it strongly with deep blues and greens that make perfect sense and leave a bold impression. The detail on the characters' faces is incredible, and Gerads etches the years and sorrows that have followed these people through the simplest of facial expressions and wrinkles.

The complex and difficult beauty of this story is the real reward waiting for you at the end. Many are saying this is the best limited series of 2016, and I have to agree. It might be the best one I've read in years.

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