It’s the end of the line for the denizens of the Grass Kingdom. But what about that persistent Thin-Air Killer? Your Major Spoilers review of Grass Kings #15 awaits!
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Colorist: Hilary Jenkins
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Previously in Grass Kings: A tiny, off-the-grid settlement, the Grass Kingdom is generally a quiet place. That’s what was so unnerving about the arrival of the Thin-Air Killer. Everyone knew the victims and Sheriff Humbert of the nearby town of Cargill has made it his business to find out the truth.
Truth, however, is a very unreliable thing…
A DISTURBING FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE
It’s always a bummer when you find the final issue of a story that you immediately gravitate toward. This issue opens with the reveal of the identity of the Thin-Air Killer, the character who has been in the background of this story since the beginning, and it is a pretty shocking moment. Flashbacks give us the unseen truth about their arrival in the Grass Kingdom and how it is that they evaded the grasp of Sheriff Humbert for so long. The most haunting part of it all is hearing the character’s motivation for why they began killing and why they chose the Kingdom. What even more impressive and/or terrifying is the events that follow, how the federal law enforcement siege is resolved and the punishment rendered for the crimes. Someone is in jail, not all the questions are given satisfying answers and most of our cast ends the issue changed in life-changing ways.
LOVING THIS ART
The most enjoyable part of reading Grass Kings #15 is the realism of its take on rural life. I may not know Robert, but I know people like him and even without having read any of this comic before, I knew who he was. Moreover, I thought I knew what he was capable of… and I was wrong. It is always hard to review a comic with such a huge plot reveal without destroying the alchemy of the storytelling, but I want you to know: I recommend this book wholeheartedly. The art is just beautiful, and the coloring perfectly meshes with the tone of the story, giving a sort of washed-out watercolor feel that reminds me of growing up in a town of a few hundred people. I especially love the sequence in the middle of the book where the Kingdom’s author, Hemingway, interviews the grieving families of the Thin-Air Killer, each one showing through their expressions and body language the anguish of their situation. Add in the realism of every scene, making it feel like still photographs of a real place, and you’ve got a winner on your hands.
BOTTOM LINE: I WISH I HAD CAUGHT ON SOONER
The first thing I did after reading this comic was go searching for the rest of it, but you can wait for a collection if you have to. Just don’t sleep on this one, because this issue makes for the perfect ending to a story that has been haunting, touching, and most of all, human. Grass Kings #15 is a startling achievement, a Whodunnit ending that not only works as a stand-alone issue, but makes you want to immediately get the previous chapters and just lose yourself in the landscapes and trailer parks of The Grass Kingdom, earning a truly impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m really kicking myself for not picking this one up earlier.