For months some of steered clear of the Stephen Baldwin mini-series The Remnant for fear it would be full of proselytizing in attempt to push a particular religious point of view.   I’m pretty leery when it comes to these kinds of stories, but those that hint at the end of days can be an interesting read if the reader approaches the story from the essential good versus evil theme, and not one that pushes dogma.  For three issues, David Sacker has been caught up in a mystery of those that want to do him harm, and those that are trying to save him.  Who are the good guys, and who are the bad?

While David is able to save his lovely wife from being killed by snipers, agents from the department of homeland security, and the spooky man dressed in black, he ultimately isn’t able to save her from the rapture.  Or what I perceive as being the rapture, as the sudden disappearance of hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of people can only be something of a supernatural/spiritual nature.  It’s kind of hard to decide if this is the case or not as the issue ends on that note – people are gone, including David’s wife, with no explanation as to what is going on.  Unfortunately, there’s not going to be any other explanation as this is the final issue in the series.

And because the issue ends the way it does, Remnant ends up leaving readers asking more questions that are answered? Why did Sarah need a pregnancy test? Is the man in black really the devil?  And what’s up the resurrecting man?  If Baldwin is hoping people look more into this event, then he succeeded, as I had to turn to the Wiki to make sure I had my facts straight.  Even then, I am still scratching my head over the message that is ultimately being sent out.  And if I’m having difficulty following the end-game, the others are probably going to have the same problem.

One can’t claim they want the religion out of the story, while retaining the supernatural elements, because that’s a statement that contradicts itself, but had The Remnant kept a specific doctrine out of the tale, while still keeping the whole “followers of evil taking on the followers of good” idea, I think the story might have played out better.  When viewed that way, the final act of this thriller plays out really well, with plenty of suspense as to the role everyone is playing in the play.  This final issue has plenty of fighting, gun play, espionage, and the spooky man in black that still give me the creeps.

Before the final calling occurs, the story actually has a semi-positive ending as the loved ones are finally safe, and able to get on with their lives.  It’s a story troupe that has worked for for Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many others, and would have lead to a much more satisfying story here.  Unfortunately, the sudden in your face revelation comes out of left field with no indication we’ll see how David deals with the situation or if he and Buck Williams will be able to do something with the rest of their lives.

Helping this issue along is the art by Julian Totino Tedesco, which brings the story to life.  There are times when faces look a little odd, like when one of the character’s eyes suddenly go all black for one panel.  I don’t think it means the person is evil, but it is a bit jarring. Otherwise, Tedeso’s art works for me and I wouldn’t mind seeing what he works on next.

In the end The Remnant is an interesting story with plenty of bang and flash readers expects from a spy thriller tale.  However, throw in Biblical implications and tenets, and it is a story that is going to polarize audiences.  I don’t think this final issue is going to convert anyone one way or another, but with so many questions left unanswered, I can only give The Remnant #4  2.5 out of 5 Stars.  If you followed the series for the first three issues, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this final chapter to complete the tale and see how it sits with you.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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1 Comment

  1. Jesse
    April 16, 2009 at 1:16 am — Reply

    I just finished reading issue 4 and cannot tell you what a disappointment this ending was. Un-believable. So many things which were formerly integral to the story are suddenly discarded: Sarah’s importance as a target is completely unexplained, the identities of all the “supernatural” actors are completely unexplained, any and all motivations are left completely to the reader. What good is it that Sarah lives if a few days later she disappears immediately?

    I went into this story without knowing that Baldwin was an author in the same vein as Tim LaHey, so I feel that I was pretty open-minded going into this series. This story could have resolved itself in any number of exciting ways, and yeah it could have preserved a dangling, mysterious ending too. Instead, it feels like Baldwin built us up with this engrossing story, and then leveraged our attention as an opportunity to slam religion in our face in a tactless way. The rapture ending is a shoehorn fit at best.

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