Comics Anonymous


John Henry: The Steam Age #4

This Giant Size Finale sees Dwayne Harris bring his hugely entertaining take on the John Henry folklore to a close.

Having built the story up to its climax, issue three left us with John Henry and several others heading off to attack the HQ of the tyrant Tiberius Rand to try and turn of the Analysis Engine – power source to EVERY automaton under his command.  This becomes all the more crucial as the automaton army begin their invasion of Chinatown where John’s wife and daughter are helping prep for the last stand.  The flip between the two missions helps build the tension as Harris has us heavily involved as he has done since the start and there’s a definite air of the finale to the Matrix and their defence of Zion with the main difference being that we actually give a damn what happens in this instance.

A smug Tiberius

John and the gang meet Tiberius head-on as the true depths of his plot and his involvement with John’s so-called friends become all the more apparent and the truth-bomb that John’s survival was aided by Tiberius himself.  Paying to have his dying heart replaced by a new automaton one and giving the mission they are on a much more defined sense of the unknown.  In true hero style John saves the day and risks his own life to defeat the invading army and all in the nick of time too.

John’s ultimate sacrifice at the end of the tale makes this bittersweet ending all the more refreshing as the hero saves the day at all costs and while he may not end up with his wife & daughter, I’m left with the feeling that the greater good is the winner here along with the reader of a top-notch story.  It’s further kudos to Dwayne Harris and Arcana comics for bringing us such an entertaining and visually impressive release which makes this a firm entry in that recommendations list.



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