The Last Broadcast #5 begins bringing together the threads of Ivan’s stories as he, Harumi, Niko and Damon rush toward uncovering Blackhall’s secret.
IT’S ALL COMING TOGETHER
The Last Broadcast #5 is still as much as an information dump as previous issues in the series, however writer André Sirangelo is beginning to have events coming to a head. The result is a less foggy narrative experience than the first two issues, most notably, and a lot more action.
In the here and now of the Last Broadcast #5 Ivan is forced to face the reality that Dmitri is not coming with him off Alcatraz Island. He stumbles through the S.P.I. (read as: secret, psychic magician gang who killed Houdini when he attempted to expose them), compound until he comes face-to-face with the woman readers were first introduced to as his nurse. While Sirangelo has yet to give her an official title I am willing to be that she is a figurehead with S.P.I.
The second time stream of The Last Broadcast #5 is Ivan’s past and the events leading up to the explosion that landed him in the hospital/Alcatraz compound in the first place. Even more than the present day timeline Sirangelo’s many plot threads are coming to a head. In an almost mirror-plot Ivan, Harumi and Damon decode the location of the next radio transmission – or as Damon calls it “Blackhall’s soul”. Damon and Ivan’s rivalry ramps up with Damon foretelling the group’s death as an inevitability that he has seen in both psychic and drug-induced visions until Ivan leaves and there’s a bit of back pedaling until the end of the issue.
Protagonist-cum-failed-magician Ivan thinks he figures out who is the man in the hooded cloak (who has been present for the murders of various magicians throughout the series), is and races back to Harumi and Damon set on saving them from their inevitable doom. Much like in the present day plotline, Ivan comes face-to-face with a representative of S.P.I. for the second time in the Last Broadcast #5, although this time the hooded figure wears a much more familiar face.
Sirangelo has penned an incredibly interesting issue in the Last Broadcast #5 as with every issue in the run to date, but layers and depth of mythology within this story absolutely requires a knowledge of the issues that came before. The devil is in the minutiae of the Last Broadcast #5, but so are all the clues a diligent reader will need to begin aligning the details of this mystery.
Gabriel Iumazark’s manga influences have been present throughout this series of comic books and the Last Broadcast #5 might be the most manga issue to date. As the world of magicians and spiritualists and secret societies blooms and grows the more grotesque some of the figureheads of evil become. The settings Ivan, Harumi, Damon and Niko are cast against are increasingly ramshackle – resembling modern day Detroit more than modern day or near-fi San Francisco – though under Iumazark’s hand no less beautiful.
The colouring is my favourite aspect of the art. The Last Broadcast #5 is a wash of grey with clever splashes of reds and yellows employed throughout the issue. The red in particular serves to guide the reader’s eye to a tiny, but crucial, detail that they may have otherwise glossed over.
Iumazark’s strength as an artist lies in his ability to use the image on the page to heighten the narrative experience and at the same time present a series of starkly beautiful panels.
SOLVE THE MAGICAL MYSTERY
The Last Broadcast #5 absolutely requires a preexisting knowledge of the world and characters and it would behoove you to do that research before jumping into this issue. It’s not the simplest comic reading experience, but the series is easily as magical as the man Ivan holds up as his idol.