Written by Eve L. Ewing
Art by Luciano Vecchio
Layouts by Geoffo
Colors by Matt Milla
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 24, 2019
Review by: Andrew McAvoy
As we approached the fifth issue of this new series, Riri’s development has seen her stray away from the lab at M.I.T and drift back towards her old haunts in Chicago. Last issue saw the disappearance of her friend old Daija and it was clear that something was amiss. The strange reunion left many questions but was interrupted by Riri’s encounter with Midnight’s Fire, an encounter from which Riri only just escaped.
This time round we open up in Chicago, and the first page highlights one of the strengths of this issue right from the outset. There is a real sense in this issue of Chicago becoming a key feature of the book. The opening reflects elegantly on the perception of the city as dangerous, while still being a place that Riri sees as home despite the darker moments she has experienced in it. By the close of this issue Riri has set up a new Lab in the Windy City away from M.I.T, much to her mom’s frustration. This issue stresses how Riri wants to give something back to her home city, but also at the very end it also shows how she needs the city to help support her too.
Elsewhere in the book an additional dynamic underpinning the main plot is the personal relationships that Riri has returned home to. Xavier acts as the moral conscience in this issue pointing out to Riri the boundaries between help and intrusion. Notably he also points out to Riri that, “Super heroes can’t fix everything. Super heroes need help sometimes”. It is advice Riri seems to have taken on board by the end of the issue. Elsewhere both her mom and N.A.T.A.L.I.E also continue to keep Riri grounded, acting as the other parts of her small support network.
As regards the action it is balanced up reasonably well with the interpersonal aspects of the issue. There is a partial conclusion to last issue’s cliffhanger, but we don’t yet get a clear indication of what has happened to Midnight’s Fire, who disappears from temporary entrapment. The immediate danger has however passed for Daija and the other kids affected by the conspiracy that has been unraveling over the last few issues.
All in all this issue is a great read for someone like me as a fan who likes the more personal aspects of Riri’s character. I like the fact that she is focused on her mission to the point of being rude at times and doesn’t take any nonsense. Ewing however effectively shows the warmer side of her character more than Bendis did in the past, and this issue establishes a firm sense of place now that she is back home. The price of this is a little bit of a restriction on the action content. For me that trade off is worthwhile, but it should be noted for those wanting a book with cover-to-cover action. With the usual high quality art from Vecchio, and a striking cover from Amy Reeder, this book will please those readers, like me, who have been enjoying the series to date.