Red Border #4 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 25, 2020

Writer: Jason Starr
Artist: Will Conrad
Colours: Ivan Nunes
Letters: Sal Cipriano

Red Border has been a frustrating comic to review. There are glimmers of brilliance here, but too quickly they’re snuffed out and the final comic is a sub par experience. Jason Starr understands that quite often stories aren’t original or unique, rather it’s making little changes, like the setting, or introducing a new genre which makes the story feel new and fresh. We’ve seen stories with innocent people on the run from the Mexican Cartel before. We’ve seen stories where travellers are taken in by a family of Cannibals. These stories have been done to death, but combining them? It gives readers a new take on these familiar stories.

Where Red Border has fallen down however is in the implementation of these stories. It’s felt like too many unrelated threads, especially for a four issue series, which come together in the end for an epic showdown. By spending the entire first issue with our two heroes attempting to cross the Mexican Border it’s left Starr without much time to then introduce our Cannibals and have the Cartel continue to chase Eduardo and Karina. Rather than bringing together different jigsaws to create a brand new image it’s felt like these parts refuse to mesh.

It’s a real shame because this final issue is probably the strongest of the lot. The showdown, while seen from a mile away, is actually pretty good. The problem is we don’t care for our two leads, so many different story angles have been going on at the same time it’s left readers without any time to get to know our leading couple, let alone empathise with them. And the little time we do have with them they spend worrying about their relationship not the imminent danger they’re in. The villains of the piece really come alive in the showdown at the end, and it shows if nothing else Starr can write a good villain.

The art from Will Conrad has been fantastic from start to finish, without a doubt the best part of the comic. It makes it even more of a shame that the rest of the comic hasn’t lived up to the high standards set here by the art. Each page looks great and the action really pops off the page. Likewise the colours from Ivan Nunes is brilliant.

The concluding issue is one probably the strongest issue but it isn’t enough to remedy the mistakes this series has made. Main characters who the reader doesn’t overly sympathise with, and a story which can’t quite decide if its a full on horror or action story, and doesn’t manage to succeed at either. AWAs only weak entry in an otherwise stellar line up. 

Our Score:


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