Voracious: Appetite for Destruction (#1 – 5) – Mariksan Naso

4 out of 5

I’m so happy we made it here.  The first volume of Voracious was a fun, sci-fi-lite, romance-dusted comedy drama, with the second volume diving deeper into the sci-fi angle, though somewhat disappointingly curbing the potential of that by amping up conflict for a concluding third series.  Still, the characters and concept were incredibly strong, with Jason Muhr’s art and colorist Andrei Tabacaru turning in stunning work that grew better issue by issue, and while I do think there’s another version of this book that was an ongoing and explored its invented worlds a bit more, since it was initially pitched as a three-volume thing, that likely helped give it its clear vision and personality.  Meaning: nitpicking aside, I definitely wanted to know how this thing would conclude, and with the initial announcement that the third volume was only going to be digital and not print, I was a little worried it wouldn’t actually happen.

Not only did it happen, but it ended up happening in print after all, which makes a collectory type like me super happy.  It’s also nice that it’s a ridiculously satisfying conclusion.  ‘Ridiculously’ maybe meaning too satisfying – it’s a bit cornball, and goes out of its way to give Muhr and Tabacaru an issue to go nuts with dino action – but dammit, it made me smile.

Explaining the goings-on would be to spoil previous issues, as we pick up right after volume 2’s conclusion.  Markisan makes sure to bring back the emotional component that was strong in volume 1, and blends it well with some all-out action, and a gleeful ‘getting the team together’ setup that, sincerely, doesn’t feel forced, and is rewarding by dint of how realized the cast has been.  I reread the previous issues before going in to these, and best of all, everything is touched on.  The science fiction part of the story is, alas, still rather shallow, but glaring logic leaps are given a nod in dialogue, and all the small plot beats you may be wondering about come back around in some fashion.  As mentioned, it may conclude a little too neatly – and I don’t mean to mislead, that doesn’t mean happy endings all around – but this was certainly more about telling a fully rounded, entertainingly popcorny story than something that digs too deeply.  But that’s… okay.  Because dammit, it’s a lot of fun, and it’ll be a lot of fun rereading it as well.

So I’m dang happy we made it here, and yes, Mr. Naso and Muhr, whatever your next projects are, I’ll be there.