Released by: Titan Comics
Released on: March 29th, 2017.
Written by: Christa Faust, Gary Philips
Illustrated by: Andrea Camerini
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“Detective Alvarez showed his true colors and paid the ultimate price for it thanks to his own partner, March. Aiesha and AJ are out of money and luck, with no way of saving Zee from being sent down for the murder he’s been framed for. Meanwhile Roxy and Nick are learning fast that you can’t trust anyone in Peepland. But maybe, just maybe, they have one last hand to play.”
New Year’s Eve. March makes the call – “It’s handled” she tells the person on the other end of the phone. The two corpses in the back of the car currently sinking to the bottom of a lake would back that up. Her next mission? Get Roxy. They know she lives with her Uncle Leo, so that’s a start. Elsewhere, Aisha tells Lorenzo she will love him no matter what. He interprets this as his own mother wondering if he really did kill the girl that the cops accused him of killing. He splits the scene, understandably angry and upset over this.
Meanwhile, Roxy and Nick head to the Village to see Betty Bangs – they need to give her the tape. They’re both unaware that March is using her badge not too far away in Times Square to inquire as to where she might be. Lorenzo gets into a scrap with a drunken racist fool. It doesn’t end well. March follows Roxy’s trail to the Meatpacking District, getting closer and closer. Leo, on the other hand, gets a surprise visit that forces him to defend himself in a rather unexpected way (unless you’ve seen Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bleeder), while Roxy and Nick watch from outside, through the window.
The newspaper picks up on the story, Nick and Roxy get chased through the streets by a gun toting maniac and plans are made by certain parties to avenge Lorenzo.
This does NOT end the way that you expect it to. We won’t spoil it here but it’s clear that Faust and Philips (read our recent interview with them here) don’t necessarily subscribe to the ‘happy endings are mandatory’ style of writing. This series was gritty and bleak from the start but this fifth issue ups the ante considerably in how it brings most, if not all, of the story threads to a well written and ridiculously tense conclusion. It’s good stuff, it makes you think and it makes you feel for the characters involved in all of this – who got what they deserved, who didn’t deserve what they got and everything in between. Andrea Camerini’s artwork, colored by Marco Lesko, continues to suit the writing really nicely. The detail here is good, not just in how the human characters are illustrated but in how the city is drawn as well. It’s easy to appreciate the obvious effort that went into getting things right in this regard, even quieter moments like the scene with Aisha and Lorenzo in the kitchen, there’s a lot of work put into setting the right mood and making the backdrop for the drama look real.
Peeland ends with a BANG! and not a wimper (it also ends with a William S. Burroughs quote), but here’s hoping this isn’t our last visit to Faust and Philips’s world. There are a lot of interesting characters here that can and should be explored. If there’s any justice in the world, that’ll happen sooner rather than later.
As it was with the first four issues, this fifth entry also features some text pages in the back, this time containing a short piece entitled ‘The Long Sayonara’ in which Ms. Faust expresses her appreciation for the efforts of those she worked with on this series. This is followed by a text piece from Philips where he notes, quite aptly, that ‘history is a motherfucker.’ And we’ll leave it at that.