In this review of The Madness #6, we get the closing of a young woman’s quest for vengeance after the murder of her family. How far will this woman go and is this truly the end?
The Madness #6 (of 6)
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Main Cover: ACO
Variant Covers: David Aja, Chris Ferguson (PUNK ROCK HOMAGE)
This Review Contains Spoilers
The Madness #6 – The Story
Djinn and Shade have both been killed for their vote to kill Sarah. All that is standing is Sarah, her mysterious friend Raven, and the Djinn’s dragon. The dragon offers to add its power to Sarah’s but she declines. Sarah is committed to her path even if it will lead to her death but the dragon is now free to choose its own path. The dragon flies off. Raven has a question of her own, what about her?
Raven actually rescued Sarah when they were attacked back in issue one but it cost her everything she had. Her concern is that if Sarah does what she can see, the cost will be too high for both of them. Raven does not want to die and she is afraid. Sarah allows Raven to step aside but before she goes, Sarah wants to know what Raven is. Raven shares her story including being a part of someone else long ago and finding Sarah as a child. The two parts leave Sarah alone. She is resolved to finish this and the perfect place is to start where it all began.
The scene shifts to the only living survivors of the Council of Justice, Captain Micron and Darius. Micron has located Sarah in the house belonging to her fiancé . They decide to attack her the next day.
The two ruthlessly attack the cabin, destroying it. Sarah however is not deterred and attacks herself. The two give the young woman a thorough beating. Sarah however has a trump card. She has a bomb set in the basement and she orders it to self-destruct through her iPhone., killing both “heroes”, leaving Sarah alone. She tries calling for Raven but nothing.
Two months later, Sarah is in Santa Monica. The news is reporting on the disappearance of the Council of Justice, speculating on whether or not the team will return. Sarah however knows the answer to that question. She changes the channel and sees an address by the president of the United States. He states that collateral damage should be regarded as irrelevant. This infuriates Sarah. The next scene is Sarah as Raven approaching Air Force One. This story is not over yet.
The art in The Madness #6 is fantastic in its character designs. Sarah and the president look like very attractive normal humans but the design of Raven is incredible. She is depicted with striking red eyes that convey her rage with just a coloration. Other shots include a lot of eye pictures when anger is indicated. For example, Sarah when she hears the president’s address is shown with blood shot eyes visually representing her rage at what she is hearing. The other striking feature of Raven is her black hair and white face with smeared black lipstick and eyeliner. This makes this creature look human and other worldly at the same time. She relay looks like a force to be reckoned with.
This is shown in the last page of this book when we see Sarah as Raven. She takes on some of the previous character’s characteristics most notably her black hair, ghost white skin and black lipstick the only difference is that it is not smeared giving her a clean look and her eyes are not red. Instead they a blue but the whites of her eyes are black on top of the maniacal grin on her face gives her a ghostly and evil appearance as she flies over Air Force One.
Where The Madness #6 shines and in fact the whole series shines is its themes. The primary theme is the issue of collateral damage. It is actually these deaths that drive the plot forward. This slaughter drives Sarah in her mission but it also haunts the members of the Council of Justice to a degree. In this issue in particular Captain Micron, the character who actually dropped the bomb on the cabin in issue one expresses some remorse particularly in the deaths of the two children. His leader Darius brushes this off and this idea is actually voiced by the president.
Throughout the closing issues, Sarah questions where the vendetta of hers will stop. She is behind the deaths of a majority of the members of the Council of Justice but she also killed the Arab prince that in essence requested this hit from the American Government. It appears that she was willing to end with these attacks as shown in her settling in Santa Monica. It is only in hearing the address by the President that she realizes that her mission is not over and in essence she becomes an avenger to the collateral casualties of actions such as what is depicted in this series.
I would like to see a continuation of this story and hopefully there will be a volume 2.
The art and the story makes The Madness #6, as well as the entire series, a very important read. It may not be a feel good story and it does have a high body count but overall I did not find the art that graphic but it does shine the spotlight directly on the effects of this type of attack and maybe can be relevant in superhero stories in general.
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