by King on March 28, 2015

Escapo Main Image
Writer/Artist: Paul Pope
Colorist: Shay Plummer
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Beyond the allure and impressions of even the most hallowed of our celebrities, actors, entertainers, and the like, we must remember one very crucial fact: they are merely mortal (with the exception of our based Yeezus). If it can bleed, it can die; and ALL men bleed. Isn’t that in Game of Thrones, or something? Anyways, Escapo is a tale that fascinates us with the man behind our praise and allure, a symbolic synecdoche of sorts acting to represent how our perception of our idols in modern society oft leads us to forget that they too will pass. Then again, sometimes I read into things WAAAAAAYYYYY too heavily.
Aside from a rather abrupt introduction, we are pretty much cast in media res into the world of Vic Escapo, a carnival escape artist whose selling point is essentially making Death his bitch. But behind the glamour of his stunts and the façade of a janky costume, Vic is still very much human, and Pope characterizes him through the narrative as more of an unsure young adult rather than some sort of death-defying badass. It’s kind of bittersweet, actually.
Anyways, fast forward a bit and we find that Death doesn’t like “being purported to be a bitch,” hence the Final Destination series. And thus begins the heroic struggle for life itself, in the wake of a bunch of the craziest death contraptions I’ve yet seen to date. Kudos to Pope on drawing that out, because the mechanisms alone are a feast for the eyes alone. Leading with that, to the best of my knowledge, Pope’s art is somewhat contested as either love or hate, but I have to side with the former and say I’m a fan of the man’s work. The gruesome level of detail and minutiae he captures within his scenes and characters isn’t one that might not match the likes of Moore or Grampa, but still carries with it enough realism and grit to actually place you in Escapo’s shoes, and feel the threat of impending death.
I wish I could say more about Escapo, and I’m sure someone more technically apt and maybe even vested than me could, but honestly I don’t think I can. It’s a short ride, but it’s a good one. One of the things I must admit is a turn off for me with Escapo is its brevity – had it been just a bit longer, fleshed out it’s interesting cast just a bit more, this book could be perfect! But maybe that’s another draw to it, in that we are introduced to the struggles of a man whom many would dare envision as a sort of god, yet we see his weakness and struggle. The lowly Escapo Vic is no more immortal than I, and though he may test death he can never truly be rid of it. There is a beauty and potency to the message embedded in our short-lived journey with the world’s greatest escape artist, but perhaps it’s in fact better that way.

Our Score:


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