REVIEW: ‘The Many Deaths of Laila Starr,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3 - But Why Tho

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3 is a BOOM! Studios production, written by Ram V, with art by Filipe Andrade, and letters by AndWorld Design. It continues to be singularly and unquestionably the greatest comic book series I have ever read.

Where the last issue was a tragic and beautiful examination of a child’s first brush with death and a fallen goddess’s first brush with life, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3 is the first comic book I have ever heard of told from the exclusive point of view of a burning cigarette. This narrative choice is not only bold and creative, it is a metaphor so powerful that you don’t need a scintilla of exposition to justify it. It’s just perfect in all its broken, poisonous beauty.

Darius, the boy who will one day invent immortality, is a bit older now than when Laila last crossed his path. He’s a teenager now, enthralled in his first heartbreak and first broken heart at once: his girlfriend dumps him, and his best friend is dead. I have a terrible phobia of other people dying. Yet, reading this series is the most calming and meaningful examination of life’s conclusion. This issue deals with regret, anger, and pleading over death. And while its cigarette metaphor demonstrates all the damage that death can do to the living, it also shows that death can be a powerful motivator and influencer in its own chaotic way. Our loved ones may pass on, but they can certainly leave a lot behind too.

The art continues to be phenomenal.  From parties to beaches to pillow factories, the dream-like art style lends itself perfectly to any locale. In fact, were the visuals not so ethereal, the story might not be so affecting. The combination of these two elements is truly what makes the comic so complete and perfect. This issue adds a color element that was either missing from or not as clear as the previous two issues. In addition to the purples and blues, a green pervades many of the panels, spewing from the cigarette and going on to demonstrate toxicity in the air and the environment. It’s a sickly kind of green that elicits exactly the feeling it should.

The lettering in this issue is particularly special. The text boxes for the cigarette’s narration are drawn with puffs of smoke around them, not only helping them stand out as clearly the cigarette talking but making its sentiments feel loftier. The font is the same as it has been, but it continues to match well with the vibe generally and especially with the smokey motif.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3 exceeded my expectation for the next issue after what I called the best issue I had ever read. It was just as emotional, creative, and beautiful, even as it took on one of the most difficult topics under the sun. Without repeating itself or missing a beat, this issue continues to prove that the series is, in fact, perfect and that its first two issues were not merely exceptional.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3 is available wherever comics are sold.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3
5

TL;DR

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3 exceeded my expectation for the next issue after what I called the best issue I had ever read. It was just as emotional, creative, and beautiful, even as it took on one of the most difficult topics under the sun. Without repeating itself or missing a beat, this issue continues to prove that the series is, in fact, perfect and that its first two issues were not merely exceptional.