Published on August 19th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Postal #6 Review
This month’s Postal is a standalone issue that has its sights squarely on the mayor of Eden. From the opening panel to almost the last it’s all about Laura, her history and her present.
The story starts by illustrating her relationship with Mag, the town’s sheriff and the difficulty she has emotional connecting with him. Physically she doesn’t have a problem, she can go through the motions but there is something nagging at the back of her mind, interfering with her ability to have a healthy relationship. Part of this is that she doesn’t want to show any weakness, she has to be completely in control and the root of this is explored in this issues flashbacks.
Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins takes the story back to when Laura is a young woman and Eden is still a fledgling town set up by the mysterious and psychotic Isaac. A sequence in which Isaac humiliates Laura in the name of justice while making her witness an execution is disturbing and brutal. The image of Laura covering her naked body shows her embarrassment but it is the close up of her closed eyes that really portrays her emotional shut down; as the rain water washes over her she closes off part of herself, locking it away so that she can exist in Isaac’s world. It’s a powerful scene and the intensity is heightened by the constantly shifting point of view. The gruesomeness of the moment is shown not through graphic violence but by the image of Laura screaming, her face awkwardly positioned in a panel and the stains of blood on the weapons of murder.
When the story returns to the present the reader already has a better and more sympathetic understanding of Laura so that when the possibility that she must meet with Isaac on her own on his terms, you can relate to her fear. The positioning of the flashback is perfectly timed for this very reason, it adds an intensity to the rest of the story as it unravels. As the story leads from the vault break in to the cryptic invitation and on, the reader can understand why Laura distances herself from the people in her life. She has to adopt the ‘cold hearted bitch’ attitude to protect herself and those she loves. This also explains why she wanders into a very volatile situation with a cool air of indifference. When she looks into the eyes of Emily Burroughs, who wishes to take her own life, she instantly identifies with the loneliness of the disfigured woman.
Postal deals with some very strong issues and ties them together in the character of Laura. In this issue you get to see her at her most vulnerable and at her strongest; and sometimes both at the same time. The art work focuses on Laura’s changing emotions with a lot of close ups and Isaac Goodhart illustrates a massive range of emotions in this single issue. The colours on the whole are muted and grey, a reflection of the central character. It isn’t until the end of the issue that any warm colours are introduced to show that Laura finally allows herself to let someone get close.
This is a wonderful standalone character piece which packs a massive punch. The ending of this issue is not for the faint hearted and it touched a raw nerve with me. I wasn’t expecting it and it truly took my breath away; for a moment all of the previous pages faded from my mind as the final panels drowned them out.
Pick this up, it’s a spectacular read but prepare yourself for a harrowing ride.
Publisher: Image/Top Cow
Writer: Bryan Hill/Matt Hawkins
Artist: Isaac Goodhart