REVIEW Wicked Things #6: Wicked Ways

Wicked THings #6 internal panel

Stings, the soft strongman, and our sleuth sum up the story in this supposed ending to Wicked Things. This sixth issue from the creative team behind Giant Days shows us the solution to Lottie’s substantial heist and brings some cessation to the series.

Wicked Things #6

John Allison (creator, writer, variant cover), Max Sarin (art and cover), Whitney Cogar (colors), Jim Campbell (letters), Michelle Ankely (designer), Sophie Philips-Roberts (associate editor), Shannon Waters (editor)
Boom! Box
4 November 2020

Cover A of WIcked Things #6 by Max Sarin
Cover A for Wicked Things #6 done by Max Sarin

We enter the scene with Lottie on the roof, addressing the temptation of freedom presented to her at the end of Wicked Things #5.

Stings

Thankfully, Lottie chooses not to escape. Instead, she is on the last legs of her Casino Case, allowed to participate as a server. Lottie plays her role well. Spending weeks serving drinks at the precinct, she’s uniquely situated to serve the sting. Balancing her tray, she works the room. Although, she is slightly too excited. She whispers and leans towards D.I. Dennison, dashingly dressed in a dashiki and glasses, reminding us that this is the first time she’s participated in such a situation. The room seems perfectly set for the sting and to catch the culprit between croupier and coppers. Everyone is in place to encounter the elusive enigma behind these brash betting breakouts.

Soft Strongman

The suspect is introduced before we see the sting in full bloom and those panels imply that there is something sinister beneath their bandages. In a strangely simple solution, we discover that the mastermind behind the casino heists was Bulldog. Helping Lottie in the last issue, as a window into the criminal mind, Bulldog decides to pick up where he left off.

He reveals himself when D.I. Dennison accidentally takes a seat next to him. Bulldog passes a threatening note to Dennison and they walk to another table. Lottie misreads Dennison’s expression and Bulldog takes her hostage. Sarin does an excellent job with the standoff scene. A single panel uses the angle like a glitch in a video game. As the viewer, we’re perfectly positioned to look through the wall that obscures the police force and get a full picture of the situation. Things quickly escalate and it appears for the moment that Bulldog gets away with the heists, with breaking his house arrest, and with harming D.I. Dennison.

Our Sleuth

Following Dennison to the hospital, our sleuth sneaks out for some air, distraught over her mentor’s health. There, she encounters an apologetic Bulldog. In a delightfully precocious reveal, Lottie undoes Bulldog. She beats him at chess at the end of the last issue and, in this one, at his own heist. Lottie used her sweet skills to figure out that Bulldog organized the heists and made sure no one’s life was in danger. This scene wraps up the Casino Case and, being at the hospital, transitions us back to the first mystery of the series. Who tried to kill Kendo Miyamoto?

After six issues, the questions surrounding the attempt on Kendo Miyamoto’s life are addressed. With his last breath, Miyamoto exonerates Lottie. In contrast to other interactions with Lottie, Ms. Maki translates the words accurately, in tears as Miyamoto dies. Sarin and Cogar’s panels depict Miyamoto’s final moments with appropriate gravitas. The zoom in from the first to the second panel demonstrates the intimacy he had with Ms. Maki as he says his final words. Then, Cogar uses blacks and blues to focus the panels on Maki and Miyamoto. The world goes black around his last moments. With that, Lottie’s time as both a consultant and suspect ends. And so does this series.

Sadly, this does not satisfy me. Endings are hard. Even harder if you try to leave them open-ended. Unfortunately, Miyamoto’s death and reveal feel rushed, happening over a page and a half. Suddenly, Maki accepts Lottie’s innocence after multiple issues demonizing her. Lastly, the final page depicts Lottie smiling and sitting outside, after watching her hero die in front of her, which makes this page feel off. Especially when we still do not know who tried to kill Miyamoto. I hope we do get the solution of Miyamoto’s murder eventually. For now, with these wonderings whirling in our minds, we wrap up Wicked Things.

Paulina Przystupa

Paulina Przystupa

Paulina (aka @punuckish) is a Filipine-Polish archaeologist and anthropology graduate student who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and loves comics and pop culture. Her academic work focuses on how buildings and landscapes aid or impede the learning of culture by children. In general, she is an over-educated fan of things; primarily comics, comics-related properties, cartoons, science-fiction, and fantasy. This means she takes what she knows and uses it to critique what she loves. Recently, she has brought such discussions to the public by organizing and moderating panels at comic cons centered on anthropology/culture related topics.
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