Mild Spoilers Ahead
Provo is still racking his brain over the next big Caucasus product initiative while two upper-echelon executives scheme on how to supplant him. They’re looking for Nussbaum, but nobody else in Caucasus seems to be. This means something must be going on. Meanwhile, Nussbaum is still in the world below Caucasus, and a man named Raymond is trying to kill him. A child interrupts the scrap before Raymond can kill Nussbaum, but two more people named Ambrosia and Lyhard are on their way. They have their own plans for Nussbaum. Later, Provo meets with Amelia to talk about his new big idea for Caucasus.
Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated #3 continues Nussbaum’s descent into madness. The longer he is disconnected from the Caucasus environment, the more he is without the strict structure that keeps him focused. He must make decisions for himself, and, of course, his first instinct is violence, mayhem, and murder.
Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated’s core idea is depicting what happens when a man (Nussbaum) defined by capitalism encounters a post-capitalist world. One of its focuses is Nussbaum’s violent rejection of anything that puts any force or idea, specifically religious beliefs, above that capitalist structure. In this issue, it’s his abuse and disdain for the ascetics who’ve used Caucasus products to suspend themselves above the ground for years as part of their religious practice.
Despite how pitiable he is, Nussbaum is a wretched person. Last issue he used a child as a literal human shield, and he encourages that same child to remain as a more figurative shield to stay Raymond’s killing blow.
We slowly learn more about Provo each issue. He’s clearly a man suffering the aftermath of a mental breakdown, and this issue finds him posing an idea that is either the result of a mind in decay or a heartlessly efficient capitalist mind.
Stefano Simeone continues to bring the dreamlike world of Caucasus and the realm below it to a gorgeous realization. The chase through the underground world is particularly beautiful, and the bizarre impressionist style of Simeone thoroughly jives with Shoplifters’ themes and story. The blindingly bright color palette of Caucasus contrasted by the bold and heavy colors of the underworld is a brilliant stroke.
Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated #3 continues the hot streak of this insane, whip-smart, and enthralling comic series. Patrick Kindlon and Stefano Simeone have wrapped a bombastic cultural critique in an absorbing narrative that wavers between mundane cultural espionage and a corporate cop tearing at the very foundations of communal human society. It’s a phenomenal comic and easily earns another recommendation. Give it a read.
Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated #3 comes to us from writer Patrick Kindlon, artist and cover artist Stefano Simeone, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
Final Score: 9/10