REVIEW: 'Vinyl' #6 by Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard, and Dave Stewart

 

VINYL #6

Writer: Doug Wagner
Artist: Daniel Hillyard, Dave Stewart
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 24, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99
Critic Reviews: 2

A sunflower death bunker ablaze. Ella Fitzgerald blaring in every room. It’s Walter versus Madeleine.

Score:
★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Vinyl' has been quite a ride. As issue six arrives as the concluding chapter, it's been one blood-soaked road to the finale by the twisted creative team of Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard, and Dave Stewart. In this world of serial killers who are as tight as a family in the same way the 'Fast & Furious' crew are, Walter is Vin Diesel and this is his last ride. 

Consisting of violent gory deaths and black humor, 'Vinyl' has been a surprisingly delightful horror series where serial killers assemble like psychotic Avengers to help Walter rescue his "friend" and FBI agent from the clutches of a cult led by a woman named Madeliene. Another agent, Victoria, is caught in the middle and ends up helping Walter. There's just nothing like this series in comics and you never know what to expect next. Even Walter, who suffers from Alzheimer's, can only go into killer mode when there's music is unpredictable but what is remarkable is that readers will empathize with him. There's a sadness to him but a genuine love of his friends and even for Dennis the agent who hates him and has been trying to capture him for a long time. It's a complicated relationship 'Dexter' meets 'What About Bob?' but it works. 

After a long battle, Dennis is safe, and many of Walter's allies are dead it's just he and Madeliene left in the compound. It's a showdown of epic proportions. Throughout the series, artists Hillyard and Stewart have provided some of the cleanest pages of art you'll see in comics. Scenes are crystal clear, nothing is abstract and everything is brightly colored. With a story like this, it would be easy to create dark menacing scenes of carnage for the sake of carnage, but there's artistry here with nuance and a charming rhythm that's in line with Walter's appreciation for music. There's a contrast between the beauty of the art and the ferociousness of the violence that is unsettling and it's what gives the series the edge. 

'Vinyl' ends as only it could, in bloodshed. It's been a crazy series where you root for the bad guys against even worse guys. Brilliantly illustrated with one wild turn after the next, 'Vinyl' has been an unexpected gem of a comic. The ending is pretty straight forward but it puts a cap on a violent but stellar horror story. 

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