Royal City #14

Created by Jeff Lemire

Changes come to Royal City as the old factory is torn down, roots are re-established as Patrick and his wife plan to reunite, and old memories come to the surface for each character. Patrick feels Tommy’s presence as do other characters. And, the lessons learned by some characters lead to newfound commitment to family, health, and honoring those who are lost.

This issue is more on the nose compared to others in the run. Lessons and morals learned are stated blatantly in the form of an inner monologue, which could seem preachy to some. However, the plot moves from theme to theme as each character is given the spotlight, and this keeps the story flowing nicely.

The art remains minimalist in nature while capturing the emotions of each character perfectly and supporting the tone of the book. The entertainment value increases due to each character’s unique narrative, some having happy endings, some facing new separations. The authenticity of each characters responses reinforces the genuine as of the story.

Overall = 8

Final Impressions

This story ended at the right time; any longer and it would have felt self-indulgent and boring. The characters all feel a bit over-rinsed due to the trials they’ve endured. The moral lessons learned are on point but felt a little forced in some ways.  The story accurately captures how in life experiences don’t come with a Chinese fortune and a bow, some lessons are hard to decipher. As a whole, this story had some highs that will stick readers, such as we carry the ones we’ve loved and lost through the rest of our lives.  However, as wonderful as some of the issues in this story have been, this issue ended quick, which made it feel a little trite. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy real life fiction and who need something deeper in their comic book experience.

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Tom Zimm
I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist that works with children. I've been interested in comic book heroes since I was a young child. However, it's been in the last 3-4 years that I've been making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list. DC's Rebirth really won me over, especially Geoff Johns' 80-page book. My favorite properties include The Flash and The Incredible Hulk. My criteria for a good comic book include taking stupid and fun seriously while remaining self-aware.