Review – Tracker #5

Top Cow Productions brings us a fifth and final – at least on its face – issue of Tracker. While the cover of this issue seems to state “5 of 5” I think there might be a little wiggle room in there. Why you ask? Let’s just say that there are quite a few open storylines when the issue draws to a close and things don’t end as predictably as you might think.

Jonathan Lincoln returns as writer paired with Abhishek Malsuni and Shashank Mishra on the artwork. Just in case you haven’t been following the series the premise is pretty simple. Alex O’Roark is a detective who loves his job but suddenly finds himself face to face with a horror unlike any other in a bus massacre. The bodies are strewn about in pieces in the latest act by Herod, a brutal serial killer. There is just one catch, Herod isn’t quite…human. O’Roark becomes infected and soon finds himself struggling with the inner urge to cut loose.

At this point it is just a question of whether or not he can control himself. What is he becoming? Just a werewolf…that’s all. Onwards to a brief recap and series summary!

At the end of issue #4 Alex O’Roark had thwarted Herod’s attempts to feed in order to sustain him. We’ve learned – courtesy of Dr. Cyril Tucker of the mysterious Handel Foundation – that Herod needs to feed on other lupine blood in order to extend his own seeming immortality. We also now know that Alex needs the blood of Herod in order to find a cure for his own disease. This has lead to an interesting game of cat and mouse between the killer and the federal agent.

Of course Herod has decided to take revenge and is now holding O’Roark’s girlfriend, Tory, hostage. The price of getting her back is breaking a young infected boy named Jack Rempel out of protective custody in an exchange for her. He has been taken off the case however, as the girlfriend's involvement understandably causes a conflict of interest and a lack of confidence in O’Roark’s control. Even his partner Jezebel Kendall is unsure if she can trust him.

The story comes to a climax in an epic final battle between O’Roark and Herod. Everything seems concluded but in the last few pages we find out that things aren’t as neatly wrapped up as they could have been. One of the minor characters is even brought back for a big cliffhanger ending and it appears that O’Roark’s past sins may come back to haunt him.

I liked the artwork in this issue much more than in the previous issue. I don’t think artistically it is of higher quality, but the style just suited me better. There wasn’t quite as much carnage in this issue as in previous ones, but that didn’t impact my enjoyment of the issue in general. Everything was sharp as always and really well drawn. The story and its conclusion – of sorts – were perfect for the overall tone of the series as well.

All in all, this five issue shot was entertaining and is definitely something worth picking up. Check out the interiors below if you don’t believe me and pick this one up in stores when you see it.