It’s been an epic tale, worthy of the Bard, and now it comes to a close. There are plenty of threads to tie together and not much is left off the table. As many final issues do, this concludes the many battles and offers a coda. So much is what you want to see, or had hoped for, that there aren’t a ton of surprises. However, that doesn’t stop these pages from being continually satisfying.
The characters have come a long way, and their trials and challenges all culminate here. For all the high stakes, the high road seemed too easy for all to be able to take. The challenges had been so difficult for so long and seeing everyone able to triumph in the end feels a little easy. There needed to be more danger on these pages. This would have benefitted from holding more surprises right up to the end. It’s a fine line between servicing your fan base with what they want to see and giving them a twist they might not have known they wanted.
Once the battle of this world ends, and the decisions are made, there is nothing left but to wrap things up. This coda is exceptionally delivered. Juliet and Hamlet’s interaction is a stand out in a sweet and entertaining way. The growth in these characters, and between them, comes to a head in a way that feels organic while also turning some very fresh ground in this established world. The connection between them has yielded some of the title’s best moments. It’s nice to see where they end up by the final page.
Andy Belanger finishes the book with the same style with which he began. It’s nice to see an experimental tinge still taken right to the end: one moment of brutal violence is handled creatively through a sound effect panel and then a silent page. This character beat might not be as strong as the months of waiting would hope, but the execution (pun intended) is nicely handled. The visual of Lady Macbeth with her facial scar is also the sort of thing that makes for great shorthand in summing up her character arc.
“Kill Shakespeare” has been a fun title to read from start to finish. The characters grew on you over the time of publication until complete investment was achieved by the conclusion. We might have started with the blueprint the original creator laid out, but Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col certainly made many of them their own. This issue felt very much like the final minutes of “Return of the Jedi” and not in a bad way. This tale might be over for now but this world is ripe and open for further adventures. If this story has been any indication, we can only hope the creative team can one day come back to twist the bard’s quill once more and have a little fun.