Writer: Michael Gordon
Art: Alberto Massaggia
Publisher: Scout Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Red Winter is a crime/mystery about a former American detective and his relationship with Russia's seedy, criminal underbelly.
While it is the story of a dirty cop, there's a family theme and a redemption arc that makes it hard to compare it to any one specific piece of media with similar elements.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
(Spoilers for previous issues)
Eli Winter's cluster$%^& of a day comes to a close in the fourth and final issue of this action-packed miniseries.
The culmination of events comes to a head with all the major players in one place and armed to the teeth.
Can Winter and his son make it out of Moscow alive?
This final issue feels like the next logical sequence of events. Gordon & Munoz set it all up, now it's time to watch it all fall down. As such, the ending feels natural and earned.
There's a new artist on the series, but don't panic! The spirit of the comic remains. We lose a little bit of that grain and grit and the hardness Munoz brought to the page, but the color palette remains the same, which goes far to seal the soul into Red Winter.
Alberto Massaggia's style is like a slightly softer, more manga-influenced version of Munoz's art. Honestly, I don't mind it, and I definitely don't think it's a game-changer for the series. Massaggia also preserves the style set up in previous issues – Munoz's approach to framing, angles and character design is well-preserved, and there's a current of energy underlying Massagia's style. It works for this tense, final issue.
Michael Gordon does well to remind us of the circumstances by building it into the context.
Nikki Sherman has her work cut out for her this issue between the density of dialogue and sound effects on the page, and she does well to find room for it all while making it effective and flow cleanly. Massaggia also deserves a lot of credit, building in plenty of space for these elements.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
I don't want to talk too much about the ending out of fear of spoilers. That being said (stop reading here if you don't want some level of spoiler), the ending felt almost TOO expected. I found myself hoping for a surprise twist or a way out for our characters or a twist of fate that made the events even more tragic, but it was surprisingly straightforward. To be fair, it kind of fits within the "crime" genre and typical Russian dramas, so it didn't feel wrong, per se. It didn't even feel unsatisfying. I just wonder if it could've hit even harder if we had one more issue in between, for example of Winter and his son almost escaping, to make the end hit even harder.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Issue #4 closes the Red Winter story well, making for one crime comic that's truly a feather in Scout Comics' cap.
You know what happens when the tension gets to a boiling point and the house of cards begins to fall. All there is to do now is sit back and enjoy the chaos.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Red Winter, issues #1-3 by Michael Gordon & Francisco Munoz
Spencer & Locke, Vol. 1 by David Pepose & Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Deadbeat by Jed McPherson & Chris Shehan
If you like the art:
Hotline Miami: Wildlife by Federico Chemello, Maurizio Furini & Alberto Massaggia
Criminal by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
Soviet Ghosts by Brentt Harshman & Emilio Utrera
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Michael Gordon – Writer & Co-creator
Outlander: Lives in Northern Ireland
Before being published by Scout Comics, Red Winter was actually a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Alberto Massaggia – Art
Outlander: Hails from Italy
Multitalented: Also enjoys writing
Rolands Kalnins – Colors & Book Design
Music Lover: Is a fan of metal
Outlander: Lives in Latvia
Is also a power-lifter
Nikki Sherman – Letters
Multitalented: Also writes and illustrates comics
Judging by her Twitter feed, she's a big fan of horror film and craft beer
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Red Winter #4 drops October 30h!
Pre-order it from:
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