The Deadly Steampunkish Chase Continues In Cemetery Beach #5

by Brendan M. Allen

Mike and Grace have been separated by Drum’s military airboats, and he doesn’t have a prayer of getting back to Earth without her. But what happens next teaches Grace something about Mike that’s frightening enough to make her rethink going anywhere with him. Ever.

In Cemetery Beach #5, the Chief of the Boat is in hot pursuit of the two fugitives, but is content in allowing the citizens of Drum do the heavy lifting for the time being. The Drummies (Drummers? Percussionists.) are desperate to regain President Barrow’s favor, and pull out all the stops to bring the trophy home. Stuff explodes and people die.

This has got to be the longest chase scene I’ve ever read. Warren Ellis doesn’t ease up at all on the pace in this installment. There are drawbacks to pumping out this much non-stop adrenaline, but the let-down effect hasn’t quite kicked in yet. With only two chapters remaining, there’s no chance of this thing slowing up, but I can’t imagine what original ground we’ll be covering before the blowoff.
Jason Howard still shoulders most of the weight in this chapter. The action sequences are fierce and dangerous and weird. The aesthetic of Heaven is gritty and industrial, but oddly charming. Loads of bullets and explosions and funny steampunkish clothes. Cemetery Beach is a fun book to look at.

I really wish we weren’t so close to wrapping this limited series. It really feels like Ellis did some serious worldbuilding and worked out all kinds of crazy backstories for each of these characters and concentric layers of this offworld dystopia. Unfortunately, we’re blazing so quickly through the joint, we never get a chance to look around. Each of these chapters seem like they could have been stretched out over two or three. Looking forward to the conclusion, but feeling a little cheated at the same time.

Cemetery Beach #5 (of 7), Image Comics, released 09 January 2019. Written by Warren Ellis, art by Jason Howard, letters by Fonografiks.

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