This week, BOOM! Studios wraps up the Codebreakers mini-series with many revelations that puts everything into perspective.
Title: CODEBREAKERS #4
Creator: Ross Richie
Writer: Carey Malloy
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Colorist: Stephen Downer
Letterer: Johnny Lowe
Covers: Julian Totino Tedesco (a) and Brett Weldele (b)
Editor: Dafna Pleban
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Previously in Codebreakers: Renault is one bad guy. So bad that he’ll shoot and kill anything in his path to get the information he wants. We’ve been lead to believe that the information is contained in a cypher and only Stanley Grouse can decode it. WIth his friends doing everything they can to rescue him, it becomes clear that the game isn’t about getting Stanley back, but rather how Agent Donald Foster has something Renny wants.
WHO IS USING WHO?
This issue sums up the action about as well as one can in a four issue run – Stanley has been kidnapped only because he stumbled upon the cypher before the real target, Agent Donald Foster, had a chance to put all the clues together. With co-agent Malcolm Whiteweather apparently down and out, and Lindsay Abbott now in the clutches of the villain, it becomes a race against time as Stanley and Donald race to bring Renny down before Lindsay is killed. This requires the two dodge the police and other alphabet agencies as they make their way to the abandoned house where Renny used to run his empire before Donald brought it crashing down.
There are a lot of people being used left and right in this series; Renny is using Stanley to draw out Donald, and then Lindsay to bring Donald and Stanley to him. Donald’s superior is using Donald to try and bring down Renny without getting the agency involved, and Renny thinks he can bargain his way out of the final situation by claiming to have information the government wants. All Donald has to do is give up the information Renny wants. The big reveal isn’t the secret to life, the universe, and everything, but something quite different – and it just may surprise you if you haven’t seen all the foreshadowing hitting you over the head for the last two issues.
In this final issue there are certain moments that I feel could use some fleshing out, but I willing to let it go because I know we’ll get that information if the movie rights to the series are sold to H’wood.
MORE SCOTT GODLEWSKI PLEASE
I’ve really taken to Scott Godlewski’s work in Codebreakers, and I hope to see his art style show up in another BOOM! series soon. There’s something about the way he develops a panel with deep levels of focus that bring the big movie feeling to this small series. The concentric circle effect finally makes sense as we learn the style isn’t just something one person possesses, but rather it is a convention that is being used for all characters who can understand a situation simply by studying it.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT
BOOM! has been using the four issue series format for a while, and though it makes the story feel rushed, it doesn’t require a six month commitment from the reader. In Codebreakers I think a fifth issue may have been necessary to fill in all the details, but I’m willing to give the issue another read or two to fill in the blanks myself. The art is wonderful again, making Codebreakers #4 a worthwhile read. If you’ve purchased the previous three issues, then you really need to pick up this one for closure, and if you’re waiting for the trade, Codebreakers as a series has been an exciting thriller. This issue has a few annoying moments, but it’s strong enough to earn 3.5 out of 5 Stars.