By: Rachel Freeman
Victor LaValle’s Destroyer is published by BOOM! Studios. It is written by Victor LaValle with art by Dietrich Smith.
Well, here we are. The final installment of Victor LaValle’s Destroyer. It has been an amazing story from beginning to end. At this point, if you have not read any of Victor LaValle’s Destroyer, then you may want to wait to read this because it will contain spoilers. It’s the last issue, it’s going to have spoilers.
At this point, we know that The Bride is Pliers, Akai’s father and Dr. Josephine Baker’s lover. And as he meets Akai for the first time again, there is nothing but fatherly love there. He wasn’t present in Akai’s first life, we found out last issue that this was due to the Director threatening to kill Dr. Baker and his unborn son. Following Akai’s death, he not only got his revenge against the cops who shot and killed him, but he agreed to merge with The Bride. A permanent merge. Dr. Baker doesn’t appreciate his excuses. I understand that Pliers thought he was doing the right thing and that he thought he was protecting his family by staying away, but honestly from what I’ve seen of Dr. Baker, he should have just told her and trusted her. Because she PLANNED for the Director to try and kill her, she can override LITERALLY EVERYTHING. He didn’t know that, but still, communication man.
I do like that when Akai yells at them they both go in to parental mode, using his full name and telling him he cannot speak to his parents that way. It made me happy. Dr. Baker, Akai, and Pliers head to the Lab to find the Director….but the Monster got there first. And as Dr. Baker holds the Director’s head (torn off courtesy of the Monster) she goes on a pretty intense tangent about how she was planning to not only kill the Director, but “every foot soldier of the system that turned a blind eye to the death of my boy”. Which maybe sounds crazy, but we see how much she struggled to be equal as a black woman, to rise above the odds stacked against her, only to have her son taken away from her in a horrible way. She’s an insanely smart and talented scientist, but she’s also a grieving mother. Not to mention, she didn’t have anyone else. She didn’t even have Pliers. She was left to grieve alone. I don’t agree with revenge, but I can see why.
We finally, FINALLY get to see Akai face off against the Monster. And actually, Akai was getting through to the Monster because they were the same. Until his mom and down crashed down to save him, which was nice and all, but Dr. Baker didn’t care to pause and listen to Akai. She shot without hesitation, causing the Monster to retaliate which, in turn, lead to her own death as well as Pliers. She forced Akai’s hand to kill. And her anger caused him to lose his parents. It isn’t all bad though. Akai gets a piece of happiness, and he has hope for his future.
OVERALL SCORE: 8.5 / 10
The only downside of this issue was that everything happened so fast. Granted, we only had 6 issues, but I was REALLY looking forward to this Monster vs. Akai fight…and it barely even qualified as a fight. Not to mention the instant parent death right after he met his dad for the first time ever. The art in this issue, as always, is beautiful. Particularly, the final scene, so definite shout out to Dietrich Smith. Thank you for your story Victor LaValle, I look forward to the next project you bring us.
Make sure you pick up Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #6 from your local comic store!