Published on November 25th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Postal #8 Review
If a comic can surprise you by showing a character in a completely new light without actually contradicting all the previous character development for that person then the creators are doing something right.
That’s a long winded way of saying that Postal #8 took me by surprise.
This is another, mostly, stand-alone story with the central narrative revolving around one of the characters and how people react to him. Johan isn’t a very nice person, or at least that’s the way he is portrayed in Maggie’s eyes as she asks Mark for help. Knowing that Mark will do, almost, anything for her, especially if she can convince him it’s the right thing to do, Maggie leads Mark into some dark territories.
The manipulation by the women in this story is interesting to say the least. Both Maggie and Laura, the Mayor of Eden, manage to twist the central male characters around their little fingers, each knowing just what buttons to push. The difference is that Johan knows he is being played whereas Mark is still appears to be a bit naive.
I would use the word ‘contrasts’ to describe the main theme of this issue as the writers juxtapose certain characters and their actions; the manipulation techniques of Maggie and Laura; the treatment of others by those same women; the blind trust of Johan and Mark; and of course the innocence of the men. This last is particularly interesting as there are unknown quantities in their lives, is Johan a child killer? Does Mark know what Maggie is doing? As a result they are more alike than different which means that some of the empathy the reader has for Mark is transferred by default to Johan which in turn creates a surprisingly tragic tale.
And then there is of course ‘that scene’, the one where a balaclava wearing Maggie (we’re led to believe it’s Maggie, but maybe it’s not) goes all Punisher on Johan’s ass. It took me by surprise but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. There are levels to Maggie that we’ve not even begun to uncover.
Isaac Goodhart is producing some outstanding art for this series. He crosses the gutters of the panels on quite a regular basis and each time it’s to emphasis a characters stance, whether physically or emotionally. There is also the use of glasses in this issue to highlight a characters eyes or, in a number of cases, to hide them. It’s as if he is drawing our attention to them, showing us when we should believe what the character is saying merely by how he has represented the eyes. It’s this that makes me believe that Johan is actually an innocent man who is brutally murdered; there is a sadness in his eyes and his glasses are overly large to emphasis this point. It’s equivalent to drawing a child with puppy dog eyes; it’s difficult to accept he’s a killer. And that is the beauty of the art, at times it works in conjunction with the narrative to set a scene but at other times it contradicts what the reader has been told through speech, it leads you astray; just like the two central male characters in this issue.
Postal is building towards something big, the final scene of this issue introduces a character who is going to be a cat among the pigeons, but for now, I am more than happy with these mostly self-contained stories.
Publisher: Image/Top Cow
Writer: Bryan Hill/Matt Hawkins
Artist: Isaac Goodhart