“The Secret History of D.B. Cooper” #5 wraps this weird tale with a variety of emotions. Brian Churilla employs a jumping and broken narrative style to show the disparate planes on which D.B. Cooper fights and then slowly swirls them together to unite the conclusion. The result is a fitting and satisfying finale to one of the best comics of 2012.
In 24 pages, Churilla manages to elevate the characters and the reader through a vast array of emotions. The jokes actually made me laugh out loud, the violence is wince inducing and the emotional core is incredibly poignant and touching. Churilla mashes up everything that makes Cooper’s journey matter, drawing a distinct and whole narrative.
This issue smartly ties together all the plot threads and everything is packaged together for a satisfying resolution giving readers both an understanding of the plot and the means to care about it. This is no small feat when the story concerns multiple levels of existence, explosive and disgusting monsters and government agency conspiracies. Churilla also manages to weave in the mystery of the real D.B. Cooper and solves it in his own unique way.
Churilla serves as both illustrator and writer, managing to not get in his own way in either capacity. The exposition and back-and-forth moments are smoothly delivered and the wider action scenes are given scope without being cluttered by words. Churilla designs monsters that bleed creativity and action sequences that excite and allow the story to be told.
“The Secret History of D.B. Cooper” #5 is proof of this book’s excellence. The quality remains right until the very last panel and even then leaves you wanting more. Like the entire series to date, this issue showcases the best of the title and its creator. There are a variety of reasons to read this book, but the major draw is the mash up quality Churilla brings to the page. He sells emotion on high and low levels, stringing together a tale that should hook a wide audience to see what comics can do. It’s a testament to the excellence on display that it concludes with a burning desire for more.