"Centipede #5" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Max Bemis
Illustrated by Eoin Marron
Colored by Chris O'Halloran
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 20th, 2017
It's all led up to this: The final showdown between Dale and the giant flying centipede creature that has destroyed mankind. Who lives? Who dies? Witness a man pushed past the breaking point after having lost everything and everyone he knows and loves as he takes out all of his aggression on a big alien bug.
Centipede has been a trippy ride from the beginning and this final issue is no different. It's transcended the classic Atari game it's based on to become something else entirely. Dale's story is intricate and unique as he fights his one man war against this beast. He's now armed with a spaceship that just might have what it takes to stop this creature once and for all.
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Although he's flying into what could very well be his death, Dale is handling it incredibly well. He's often smiling or laughing with excitement. I can understand that because who wouldn't want to fly a spaceship into a giant monster? It's every kid's dream, right? Artist Eoin Marron captures Dale's range of emotions, going from happiness to concern to relief and more. Since everything he's done in life has led to these final moments, it's a lot for one man to take in.
Contrast this with the bigass flying centipede who is an emotionless killing machine ready to eat him up. Marron draws one scary bug. Since it's in the air, the angles are often skewed, giving you an interesting perspective on the creature, kind of like how Spider-Man is often seen from a different view as he's swinging through the city.
Every aspect of the centipede is monstrous and deadly, yet as the battle begins to take its toll, it looks weary and almost sad. Some of its legs are broken and its mandibles are chipped. An eye is shot out. It's tough to look past all the death and destruction it's caused at this point, although Dale has a unique point of view on the centipede. He learns something about it in this final chapter that somewhat changes his opinion, but not what he has to do.
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This resolve leads to an emotional climax that becomes even moreso with a final twist. It's a very Twilight Zone-esque ending that reframes the entire series to date. Granted, almost every issue of Centipede has done that in some regard, but this one is major and will make you want to go back and re-read the series from the beginning.
On the surface, Centipede is about one man's quest to rid the world of the giant monster that's destroyed humanity. It could have been just that with some great visuals and occasional gags. Instead, it does something more, taking you on a crazy ride that's part psychedelic and part pure insanity. It's way more than just an Atari game now.