Original Release Date: May 28, 2013
Looking back, I have a lot of creative issues with the climax of this third volume. I've been saying a lot of negative things over the last several pages, and I was beginning to wonder if there was anything I liked about the end of Volume Three.
Then I got to this page, and I remembered that the last four pages, detailing what happens after the events at the Viisi compound, are pretty cool. I like them a lot, so let's get started.
Panel One: Mike is returning home with the same little duffel bag he took with him when he and Renee initially left for the Viisi compound. Continuity! Mike's return here is really lacklaster, but it's done so purposely. He's a little slouched, he doesn't look that happy, and the building he's walking past is not in the best condition. This is a reminder that Mike's day-to-day life is much more pedestrian than the adventures we have seen him on in this series.
In panel two, we see one of my favorite visuals: Stu is wearing a suit over his regular ninja gear. We also saw this in the flashback from Volume Two, when Stu talked about labor negotiations. It's just a goofy visual that doesn't make any sense, but fits so well in this universe.
Panel three is a really cool visual. I love the synchronized swords to throats, and how even in a well lit room, the Goonish High Council still manages to stay completely in shadow.
Panel five is our last look at Paul. I really like Paul. Part of me wishes I had introduced him to the series sooner in some sort of support or informant role. I feel like he would have been an interesting and entertaining addition.
Panel six provides the hard-swallow moment of the end pages, and is also a visual reference to a similar panel during the flashback in Volume One.
Mike's narration on this and the next three pages ties it all together, and gives the impression that he's been telling us the story since the beginning. It's like an epilogue, which is how I wanted to approach the ending. I'll get more into why over the next three pages.