Royal City #6
Writer & Artist: Jeff Lemire
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
Want to get me to buy a comic? Find a way to attach it to the nineties. While Jeff Lemire’s first Royal City arc does not take place in the nineties, there are references. Royal City #6, on the other hand, is a flashback right to 1993.
Royal City #6 focuses on Tommy, who by the time of the first arc of Royal City, has already passed away. Tommy is already starting to have some medical issues that may be a precursor to his untimely demise. Tommy deals with those issues in his own way and most of them focus on music. Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the issue, we check in with the rest of the family. With each of them, the threads that are followed through the first arc are once again started.
Lemire has done a brilliant job of laying out a story of a family who is close but at the same time distant. Royal City #6 continues with that trend. Peter is struggling with his position at work, and it becomes obvious that the marital problems have been around for a while. Lonnie, on the other hand, gets some very important advice from an unlikely source. Both of which make sense if you have read the first arc.
The brilliance of Lemire’s writing comes in the way he builds his dialogue. Every conversation feels real and natural. These are characters that you can relate to as the problems that they face are rooted in reality–loneliness, self-doubt, and pain are all present. Every problem is something that a reader can relate to. This creates that hook that makes you want to come back for more. As always, Lemire’s art and watercolors draw you into Royal City #6. The use of watercolor is perfect for the emotions that are on display. And, even smiles are combined with a look that tells you something is being masked.
Verdict: Buy it!
Royal City #6 reveals even more of Royal City and the Pike’s family history. It gives clues as to how the family got to where they are now, while also creating new mysteries. There are no superheroes, or magic, or twists; it is just a great character-driven story. The focus is on the human experience and how we all get to where we are. Pick it up and enjoy the emotional tale of the Pike family.