BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #4
Written by Sam Sykes
Art by Selina Espiritu, Sarah Stern, and Jim Campbell
Published by BOOM! Studios
Release Date: June 7, 2017
“There were so many ways I worried it would end: fire, famine, bear attack. But not this. I guess I always thought it’d be more…dramatic.” Brianna’s restaurant is in danger! Due to outdated rules, Brianna has been forced to close down her restaurant! But is this truly the end? Find out in this last issue of Brave Chef Brianna!
I wish, like other smaller titles that Boom! Studios cranks out, that this could have been a longer running series with more breathing room for character development and plot, because this story had the legs for that. While I love all the characters in this series, I find it a shame that many relationships and arcs for characters feel open ended and unfinished at the end of this comic. Not all of the brothers make appearances and much of Suzan’s backstory is left a mystery. Brianna’s relationships with both Suzan and Kevin feel a bit up in the air as well, since they both have the potential of moving towards something more than a friend, quite honestly. However, Sykes doesn’t leave room for a sequel comic, since he veers away from his premise at the end in a way that wouldn’t lend to supplementary series.
That said, while I wish the series ended on a different note, I understand where Sykes is coming from and the lesson of making what you feel is important what you strive for instead of allowing others to push you towards things you don’t want to do is a good one. I’m not sure if I necessarily like how he goes about it, but I respect the lesson he dispenses through Brianna’s actions.
I also find the character arc for Madame Cron to be extremely satisfying. She’s a sympathetic character who has gone through several struggles in her life and has several subthemes devoted to her and her antagonism towards Brianna and her friends. I empathize with why she acts the way she acts and I find the generational differences between her and younger monsters like Suzan to be understandable, even if she seems irrational to those who don’t truly know her background in civil rights activism and the previous strife monsters once had in their world.
I love Espiritu’s work throughout this series and she pulled out all the stops here. I love the subtle touches she adds to scenes, whether it be the bite marks on the gloves Kevin wears as he holds the Monster City Rule Book or the subsequent bandages he wears afterwards as he keeps holding onto the book or even the bristling of Suzan’s feathers as her anger flares up. I love the City Council members. They look like some Eldritch abomination between the Leviathan from Supernatural, Slender man, and politicians and it is wonderfully creepy.
Stern’s coloring is perfect. I love the overall minimalist bubblegum pop hues, they add levity to a comic that could possibly be very serious. The instant tonal shift around the City Council members can be seen through both her darker, more menacing coloring as well as Campbell’s color-inverted word bubbles, and I love that they chose to make the comic show the shift without necessarily explicit words.
This is still a comic you should be reading. Was this the ending I necessarily wanted for Brave Chef Brianna? No, but it’s still an awesome ending and a series I wished went on longer than just four issues. Go check it out!
The Verdict: 9.0/10