COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 – Saturday, in the Park | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 – Saturday, in the Park

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 - Saturday, in the Park

Writer: Caspar Wijngaard

Arists: Dan Watters, Jim Campbell


Image Comics

If you’re not familiar with Limbo, it’s the artistic equivalent of an out of body experience. With deep roots, combining Voodoo and neo-noir mystery, each issue pulls you a little further into the recesses of your own mind as you attempt to make sense of your surroundings. Issue five, out now, resolves some of that for you while at the same time breaking down the walls of your psyche even further.

COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 - Saturday, in the Park

Limbo #5 – Page 7

The issue opens with Baron Saturday and and Maman Bridgette, two deities of death, wallowing in their own boredom on a listless Necropolis afternoon. Bridgette is enamored with Clay’s current state of being – one foot in the grave – and how his willfulness has led him on his journey of self discovery. The two make a wager on whether Clay can become a better man, and so starts all of the events that put this book into motion.

This story opening is perfect. So much of this series is a mystery, and this minute, yet tantalizing, piece of backstory gives you so much information on where we are and how we got there – something that up until now had been wildly confusing. The issue transforms back into the flabbergasting mystery by the end though, which is ultimately what makes this series so much fun.

A huge part in setting Limbo apart from other series, aside from the maniacal storytelling, is the character design. Watters has all of the right screws loose in his head to perfectly convey Wijngaard’s scripting. Included in that is his world building. Watters makes the universe one of the characters. It’s just as alive and breathing as the rest of them are. Well, the ones that are actually alive and breathing, anyway. The use of color quickly makes any scene transformative, which is a key component to the elusive narrative.

COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 - Saturday, in the Park

Limbo #5 – Page 18

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What’s great about the scripting in this issue is that, though the story follows Sandy, we learn more about Clay and his journey than in any other issue. It’s through her travels that we find out Clay’s backstory from Papa Legba. To that end, it’s through the same travels that we find out what took Clay at the end of the last issue, as Sandy encounters her Grandsires along the horrifying path to Necropolis. We get to learn a fair amount about Sandy in this scene, too, making this issue subversively the most character developing to date.

The issue teases a character throughout it that pushes the plot towards its ending. First, we’re shown a tiny lasso being thrown over a tiny lizard, then, while Sandy is in an unconscious state on behalf of her manipulating Grandsires, someone off panel rescues her before her brains are hollowed out and used as a spider buggy.

COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 - Saturday, in the Park

Limbo #5 – Page 19

Sandy wakes up and finds herself at the doorway to Necropolis, where all roads lead to Baron Saturday. She pushes him to address Papa Legba’s claims, but her boisterousness only amuses Saturday. He opts to tell her that the wager is real, but then attempts to force her to stay in Necropolis to be his plaything. It’s then that Mado the Barbarian rushes in and saves her yet again, really bringing this story arc full circle and excellently following up on the teaser scenes throughout the book. Mado informs Saturday that Bridgette has sent for him, and somewhat reluctantly, Saturday agrees to return to the natural world – but only to cheat at his own wager.

Saturday uses Sandy as a vessel, but it’s not until he peels her face off, revealing his own, that we’re really shown just want that means. Before that horrific final page, you’re left thinking (or maybe just hoping) that Sandy can carry Saturday in some spiritual sense, and that she’ll remain completely in tact. This ending, however, further proves how wonderfully disturbed the creative team is, and how upsetting Limbo is as a series.

COMIC REVIEW: Limbo #5 - Saturday, in the Park

Limbo #5 – Page 23

After the main story concludes, we’re given a one-page G.I. Joe PSA-style sketch featuring Mado in which he teaches two children the correct way to use a sword. The result of which is equally, if not more upsetting than Sandy ripping her face off, but somehow is so whimsically written that it’s diabolically hilarious.

The “Best There Is:” This issue gives us a ton of backstory and helps us to wrap our heads around the insane ride that has been the initial four books. At the same time, the mystery goes deeper, and somehow it all blends seamlessly together. All of these ideas are made complete by the absurdly talented artistry of Dan Watters, who seems to reach into Wijngaard’s mind and pluck each story beat like a harp string.

The “Not Very Nice:” One of the biggest factors in keeping up the mysteries in Limbo, and a contributor to the more confusing side of the story, is the lingo that is used. Those unfamiliar with Voodoo or Vodun may have a tough time grasping some of the main thematic pieces of the story. While this may be an excellent learning opportunity, it does present an inaccessibility that can’t go unnoticed.

FBI SCORE: 9 out of 10. Limbo reads like the direct result of taking a handful of psychotropic drugs and driving around aimlessly on a full tank of gas. It’s that awesome. The art and narrative design feel like a truly unique experience – and it’s not because neo-noir has never been done, it’s because nothing has ever been done in quite this way.  

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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