Once again, Die! Die! Die! #5, delivers on the gore and the guts as well as the black humour that has me returning to this Tarantino-esque comic book month after month. But how Chris Burnham can deliver a book with such detailed and complex art is one of the mysteries of the modern world. Just taking in the double page spread in which we are re-introduced to John – yet another one of the quadruplets who have been brought up to follow in their father’s footsteps and become an assassin-for-hire – in the aftermath of an attempted hit on his life.
The reader is left to imagine the carnage that must have taken place between the last issue and this one. Not all violence needs to be shown, and this is an effective way of implying a certain level of insane destruction at the hands of just one man. Arguably a highly trained man, and one willing to show a modicum of kindness towards these would-be government sanctioned hitmen, making him, I suppose, one of the few ‘heroes’ in all of this mess. After all, he doesn’t just kill for kicks as most of the other sordid characters in this series are happy to do. That make him less morally reprehensible, doesn’t it?
Funnily enough, for a book that revels in its bodycount and litres of blood spilt per issue, this one is a surprisingly modest one in terms of the violence on show. But, like the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs – all done off screen and only implied through the shadows cast by Mr. Blonde and the tortured Nash – it’s implied so heavily that you’ll walk away form this one thinking you’ve seen more than you have. Now, that’s effective writing courtesy of Robert Kirkman and Scott M. Gimple.
Behind the scenes we get another glimpse at the nefarious Senator Barnaby, who makes Dick Cheney look like a Boy Scout with his deep Machiavellian manoeuvring. And, seemingly all done from the golf course and right under the nose of the President himself. What a piece of work, right? and all in the name of the greater good. Whatever that is anymore.
It’s safe to say that this is a book packed with degenerate career politicians and hired guns that, like Macbeth, have been “in blood steep’d too far” and have become more than comfortable with it. For example, when Nate is taken aside to take about his daughter’s violent outburst in school, he laughs at it and directly into the face of her teacher. But then, in the world we live in – and the truth can often be far more horrendous than the fiction – it would seem violence is the answer. Every time. And, in the context of this comic – and as a child of the ‘video nasties’ generation, I can live with that reality very easily.
Die! Die! Die #5 is out now from Skybound/Image Comics.