Pearl #11 is the penultimate issue of what has proven to be one of Brian Michael Bendis’ and Michael Gaydos’ most spectacular achievements. Pearl is a series that blends the genres of crime and romance but never goes to the place you expect. Every issue has proven to be as anti-cliché as the creative team can make it, ensuring that each issue is a wild ride of fun. Pearl #11 is no different.
A Clever Callback In The Opening
The Endo Twins have been a reoccurring threat to Pearl since the beginning. In a wonderful twist in the last arc, the Endo Twin turned out to be very pathetic villains. They are young, naïve, and just want the biggest criminal empire in San Francisco. In Pearl #5, we have a comedic flashback where we discover how the Endo Twins hit it big in the criminal underworld. Ryu Endo wanted to make a mall for porn because he’s juvenile and thinks it’s funny. Rumor Endo plays Ryu’s straight man in the comedic duo and thus provides tons of hilarious moments.
The opening of Pearl #11 may strike you as familiar because it’s an homage to the flashback scene from Pearl #5. We get the Endo Twins in the present day, having been stripped of much of their reputation, trying to figure out how to make more money to survive. Thus, the comedic duo starts at it again. This time trying to create a new sex position rather than a mall for porn. This is a beautiful scene that is funny but also sets up Pearl’s plan.
The very first page is a splash page with only two bits of dialogue assisted in the feeling of patheticness from the Endo Twins. They are in the middle of a vacant parking lot, with nothing around them and Ryu just out of the blue says that he thinks they are missing something. The Endo Twins can be and on several occasions have been presented as a threat. But this scene and its parallel to Pearl #5 shows that even an incompetent villain can be fun to read.
Being the penultimate issue, Pearl #11 has big shoes to fill. Pearl #11 has to start wrapping up any dangling thread. Plus, get the titular Pearl to a satisfying place in her arc for the finale. In the last issue, we say Pearl and her boyfriend Rick, attempt to live a normal life in Japan. That didn’t go to plan as they have grown so accustomed to running from Yakuza hitmen to finding out about Pearl’s heritage, and so much more. Their lives had become one gigantic adrenaline hit. They were not ready for the calm, boring life of a day job.
In Pearl #11, everyone is telling Pearl what they want her to do rather than letting her choose. She is told to break up with Rick, otherwise, he will become a target. Told to eliminate her competition in San Francisco to become the head of the Yakuza there, and told that she will be legendary, just like her mother. So, while she may want to honour her mother’s memory, she is going to go about it her own way. She rounds up the Endo Twins and attempts to negotiate with them, keeps Rick around and begins to run her operation out of his tattoo parlour.
She even adopted her mother’s stance on human trafficking, which particularly annoys the Endo Twins. But naturally, nothing goes according to plan. So, the question is, can Pearl become like her mother and successfully run the Yakuza or will she be taken down before she’s even started?
Pearl #11 Demonstrates Why Bendis & Gaydos Are An Amazing Team
Pearl #11 is a fascinating ride, as Pearl defiantly does things her way. She is tired of being taken advantage of and is willing to make a deal. Others are not so keen on this, providing excellent tension. And, of course, the Endo Twins are a delight every time they appear; there’s only one more issue left, and I cannot wait for it.