REVIEW: A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance No.11 (SERIES FINALE)

By | September 17, 2022

It still baffles me just how well Andre Lima Araujo can convey coherent and complete conversations through just lines and shading with a pencil. But that’s all words are really, a composition of compounded line work, with accents of boldness added in every now and then, just let Russ Wooton tell it.

Absolutely an inductee in great artists of graphic erotica (Maria Llovet and Milo Manara rounding out my out of order top three) Araujo’s paintings can tell a story all by themselves, but the inspiration from Rick Remender’s script is key. I don’t know how Remender makes every previous issue feel like it’s the finale of one of his grand stories. As with the currently wrapping “Deadly Class”, Remender is the master of the cliffhanger. I believe that if he grew up reading a bunch of “choose your ending” stories growing up, that foray into observing that niche genre then has finally paid off. But with the end finally earmarked on the last panel in this issue, I’m surprised to see Remender somehow have his hero ride off into the sunset, even though in the previous issue the main protagonist was decidedly dead.

That’s just the magic of Remender. Plot twists and enough shifts in character’s that you just don’t know how anything that your reading under his pen is going to turn out. And that makes sense because that’s how life is. In this case, Remender’s art imitates life, and if life is a school, then through his works, Remender is passing with flying colors.

As is Araujo. This is the most nudity I’ve ever seen in a comic book, and now I have to agree with the euphemism that the truth truly is naked.
The sex workers, with their tanned skin expertly colored by Chris O’Halloran are absolutely gorgeous, engaging in sensuous acts with some fat cat who looks like he has an annual pass to Epstein Island. Sexual slavery and the long arm of capital that funds it is put on display front and center here in Araujo’s work. From the desirable parts to the overall devaluation of the act of procreation when sex became a pass time available for purchase.

Araujo captures lustful drool, sweat beads dripping in sex massage parlors and the release of feces from a man who knows he’s about to die with no visible effort. Reading every issue prior in this series, it’s an understatement to say that the communication between Araujo’s paintings and the audience’s’ eyes have only grown for this epic crescendo.

Remender, Araujo, and O’Hallaran deserve all the Eisner’s and Harvey’s for making murderers and molesters look so human. To where the most grotesque deaths that usually occur off panel in other books are instead normalized and shown for the reality that they are.
Some comic book authors think putting a “Mature” sticker on the cover just means littering words with expletives and covering the pages in red, but the team behind “A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance” truly took the time to the treat their story with the maturity their audience deserves. Immigrant rights, Leftist vs. Right Wing politics; it’s all here throughout the series, but can still be captured in just one issue and understood by the audience whether they are die-hard graphic novel heads or guests to the culture.

Not once throughout “A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance” does Remender and Co. handle pander to the audience or handle this tale with kid gloves, and the medium of graphic storytelling is all the better for the respect and devotion these men have put into this foray into a fine piece of fiction.

Score : 5/5

(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Andre Araujo, Chris O’Halloran