Review: ‘Lumberjanes: End Of Summer’ #1 Presents A Heartfelt & Awesome Goodbye

by James Ferguson

After an incredible, action-packed, adventure-filled summer, the scouts time at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types is coming to a close. It’s not with a whimper, but a bang as the Roanokes fight against the Grey, a mysterious force that’s consuming all of the forest and creatures around the camp. The only thing that seems to be able to stop this powerful entity is magic and fortunately, there is an abundance of that around this place.

I knew that Lumberjanes would have to end sooner or later, but this kind of snuck up on me. I wasn’t ready. That being said, this is a terrific closer for this dynamite series, pulling in elements from almost the entire run up until this point to go out with a flourish. Every single element matters in Lumberjanes: End of Summer #1 and each one has impact as this might be the last time something like this happens with this group.

There is so much to enjoy in Lumberjanes: End of Summer #1. All of the usual fun and games, like Ripley’s excitable nature and Jen’s cautious demeanor are in full effect and turned up to eleven. The fate of the camp and maybe even the world hangs in the balance in this fight against the Grey. Writers Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh give every beat in this story an added emotional oomph.

When something crazy happens, like Ripley becoming imbued with the power of gods and creating a huge rainbow angel kitten, it’s taken in stride. Nothing is off the table in this finale as it’s all hands on deck to stop this force. Even the Grey, shown as a dark and evil fox isn’t necessarily the scariest thing these folks have seen, although letterer Aubrey Aiese does some great work in showing how fearful this creature is.

Artist Brooklyn Allen returns to Lumberjanes to provide layouts for this final issue. There are some powerful moments mostly driven by friendship and love. Molly literally transforms into a magic deer to try and stop this. There’s a lot on the line.

Artist Alex Bosy handles the bulk of the artwork, while Kanesha C. Bryant treads in some familiar territory with Diane’s trip back home. No one draws that character in all her mischief like Bryant. This is a clean cut between the two artists so the different styles work out ok here. Bosy’s linework is clean and light, without losing any of the personality and emotion from each character. Lumberjanes has shifted through a number of different artists over the years and the core essence of the characters has remained consistent.

Lumberjanes: End of Summer #1 culminates in a way that only this series can, with rousing fun and smiles. It coincides with a burst of color, flushing out the drab greys that have surrounded the camp. Colorist Maarta Laiho creates a warm, welcoming palette that shows how special this place is and what the scouts are willing to do to save it.

It’s hard to make a great ending for a comic of such a high caliber as Lumberjanes, especially one that’s run as long as this one. I’m glad to say that not only is Lumberjanes: End of Summer #1 a satisfying and heartfelt finale, but it does justice to the entire series to date and served to perfectly close out this wonderful comic. While I’d welcome more stories from this amazing camp, I am completely happy if this is the way it goes out. This has been a truly special comic from the very beginning and the series finale is just as great.

Lumberjanes: End of Summer #1 from BOOM! Studios is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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