“Beyond the Mountain” (No Spoilers)
Why? Why? Why! Why did we have to waste so much time on those first four issues when there was such a great story to be told here at the end? The final issue of Sparta is what this entire series should have been, compelling, action-packed, and spinning off of what turns out to be a very cool premise!
This story could’ve easily been told in three issues, maybe four, but certainly not the six we got. Issue 1 was good as an introduction to this world, Issue 2 did a little better at setting up the mystery and solidifying the characters, but I could’ve completely ignored Issue 3 and 4 and just skipped to 5 and 6. I’m all for setting up characters, especially when you’re introducing a unique world like this, but there is such a thing as too much set up. I feel like I’ve sat through an hour and a half worth of a lackluster movie only for the last 30 minutes to be totally awesome!
If this series had started out the way this issue did, I might be enjoying it more. In fact, I feel like I’m reading a completely different comic now.
The one thing that’s frustrated me the whole way through this series is that Lapham has spent so much time setting up mysteries, he’s waited too long for the pay-offs. Even knowing he only had 6 issues to tell the story, he kept the mystery of Sparta going for more than half the mini-series. We don’t have all our answers in this issue, but it was definitely a much more exciting issue than any of the previous.
(SPOILERS) Blue-skinned Nazi’s versus Red-skinned Americans (well, ONE red-skinned American). This is the weird turn this series has taken. What still has me frustrated about this series is that we’re almost done and I’m afraid two issues isn’t going to be enough to wrap up everything that’s been laid out here. Does it have to be? No, but I’d hope for some sort of closure before the end.
Although, I will say Timmons topped his scene from issue 2 of lead character Godfrey standing in the middle of the football stadium, sword drawn with a bonfire in the background. This time Godfrey rides into the stadium on a horse with his sword drawn; followed by his female commandos (which double as his harem).
“Various Cancers” (No Spoilers)
The novelty of wondering what is really going on in this story is staring to run out for me. We do have some interesting moments but I don’t find myself attaching to any of the characters. I’m not sure I like the main character, Godfrey McLaine, because even though he’s trying to help these people, it’s hard for me to root for a guy who’s got a harem of women following him AND a wife and three kids. Of course, the morals in Sparta are definitely different than most people’s so who am I to judge?