Written by Royden Lepp
Art by Royden Lepp
Edited by Cameron Chittock, Sierra Hahn
Published by Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: February 21, 2018

Royden Lepp’s epic adventure Rust comes to a close with the fourth volume, a high octane finale that picks up right where volume 3 concluded. It’s a wild conclusion, as one would expect as the final battle has been looming, with many lives at stake.

Soul In The Machine, and ultimately Rust, is a story about moving on. It’s a story about the effect a tragedy can have on a life, and how to ultimately move on from that. It’s a story about growth and the nature of family. It’s a story about a Rocket Boy and whether or not a machine can have a soul. It’s a damn good story.

It should go without saying that this isn’t the volume to start reading if you haven’t read Rust in the past, as Lepp drops readers right into the chaos of the war zone that the farm has become. His artwork and script are intense, and there are high stakes here. He does a great job of making the entire volume feel uneasy – the intensity of the battle has the potential to take lives and that is evident in every panel. This is a story of war, coming at those who (for the most part) are woefully unequipped to fight against it. With such high stakes, emotions are naturally raw. Lepp communicates this well through his pencil work, the harrowing reality of the situation evident in each character’s facial expressions. This is the best artwork he has delivered in this series, and that is saying something.

Closing out a story this long in the making is no easy thing to do, but Lepp sticks the landing. Rust ultimately ends with notes of hope, and the right length of conclusion considering the intensity of the volume. This is really where we see the growth of Roman and the Taylor family. Giant robots aren’t typically the catalyst for a family moving on with their lives, but no matter the cause of why, this entire story tapped into a very common human experience.

There is always a level of nerves, excitement and trepidation when you hold the final volume of a series as beloved as Rust has been for me. I am happy to say that Lepp closes this out as it should be, delivering a final chapter that is worthy of the story that has lead up to this point. Rust is one hell of a journey, and I look forward to revisiting the Taylor’s farm as I inevitably re-read this epic series many times in the future.

The Verdict: 10/10


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