Pearl #6 brings to a close to what would have been the entirety of the book. However, much to the joy of many fans of this creative team, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, have decided to extend the series to six more issues. As a result, not everything is wrapped up in a nice little bow which is nice. It makes the extension of the series feel natural, compared to an impromptu change, which is what I feared it would seem like. Much like Pearl herself, we are left questioning the very nature of this world and its characters.
Bendis Inverts Tropes With Excellent Character Work
The ending of the previous issue is quickly wrapped up in a way that inverts a trope. As I mentioned last time, I expected a tense fight between all parties involved in this conflict. Instead, the Endo Twins are dealt with by Mr. Miike off-screen, though this leads to an interesting ending. Meanwhile, Pearl, after having had a bombshell reveal released on her last issue, just walks out with Rick. It’s a beautiful moment that shows that she has had just about enough with the Yakuza and their bullshit. I like that Pearl #6 really gets us in the head of Pearl to the point that we feel every emotion she is going through.
She’s feeling detached, confused, lied to, and just fed up. When her mother is revealed to have been the secret ghost leader of the Yakuza and that her entire childhood was a lie, all Pearl can do is sit on the hood of her car and stare off into the distance. Everything has been leading up to this, but she didn’t see it. It simultaneously pisses her off and saddens her. She has no idea who the hell she is or what she is meant for now. She even attempts to push Rick away; her life is and always has been a mess. As far as she is concerned, he shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of it. But much like the beginning of the story, where this felt like a “meet cute” in a romance, we find out that he seems to legitimately care about her.
Gaydos’ Art Feels Cold In An Amazing Way
I mention Gaydos’ art with pretty much every issue because, well, it’s fantastic every time. But his use of camera angles and perspectives in Pearl #6 is what makes getting into Pearl’s headspace so intriguing. The opening few pages are several panels with the same basic composition. Oscar on the right, Peral on the left and they sit in a car outside the Endo Twins’ strip club. The panels never zoom in on the turmoil in Peral’s face or wallow in on the emotions of the moment. The camera remains static, letting what the characters say and do speak volumes.
These opening pages are actually a flashback to Pearl’s first kill. A moment that was so ordinary that it shows just how messed up Pearl’s life has always been. She killed in self-defense just like her father told her to do, but she kept talking to the corpse of Oscar. She was still angry, still detached from what had happened to her. The muted color palette of the scene and when Pearl visits her imprisoned father adds to this detached feeling.
Pearl #6 Is Both A Conclusion & A Beginning
I have said from the moment this comic hit shelves, that it’s probably one of my favorite things Bendis has done in quite some time. He brings such energy to the script, and Gaydos adds flair with breathtaking art that it is hard not to be enraptured by every issue.
Pearl #6 is no exception and pushes both us and the characters into a pretty bleak place for the next arc. While it would have been interesting to have seen what Pearl #6 would have read as if it was still the final issue, I’m very glad we will get to spend more time with these beautifully messed up characters. The next issue will come out in two months and promises to tell us more about Peral’s origins. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic.