Mad Cave Studios’ comic book series Speed Republic introduced a world where citizens compete for their lives free by participating in a deadly race across Europe. With Ryan K Lindsay penning the story and Emanuele Parascandolo providing the art, Michele Monte is credited as the colorist and Joamette Gil is credited as the letterer. The third issue of Speed Republic revealed some of the communities harder hit and devastated by the way the Autocrat’s big race has shaped this new world. Our protagonist meets up with an old familiar face and has a psychedelic ride along the way. Speed Republic #4 explores our protagonist Sebastian Valencia, the professional slacker finding a new purpose and reuniting with someone special to work to finish the race.
The last issue hilariously found Seb high on some very special chocolate and enjoying the ride as people were just scrambling to survive. Issue three revealed more ways the Autocrat’s rule was diminishing the light of communities, better off than the slums that Seb was from and the out-there ways they were willing to sustain themselves. Speed Republic #4 reveals more of how Europe has fallen into disrepair and actually opens with Seb’s older sister, Shane, crashing and skillfully staying alive.
I was always hoping to see more of Shane after her first appearance in the cliffhanger of the first issue and she remains a favorite in Speed Republic with each issue I read. Her presence in this issue doesn’t disappoint and shows some character development; becoming less stoic in the face of all the suffering she’s continuing to see. I loved this for her and it did not feel like filler pages while waiting for Seb to turn back up in the story.
What is an issue of Speed Republic without the amazing artwork to accompany such an engaging story? Shane coming across the Dog Heads’ murder barn means the readers are treated to a panel of a giant tree in the middle of nowhere surrounded by cars and corpses inside. It’s a graveyard of those who attempted to play the Autocrat’s game but also a symbolic glimpse of the state of the way of life now and it ain’t pretty.
Some more of my favorite pages include the full page of Seb’s rescuer on horseback with a helmet, gloriously looking every bit of a downed astronaut or sci-fiction hero. In the best action sequences, the lettering literally slams into frame and handles a farewell speech by a character I was always interested in knowing more about with much grace. I perhaps most enjoyed the coloring when Seb reached Salvation. The readers are greeted by a town rising and starting the day: the sunrise bathes the town in gorgeous colors and it provides a nice change of pace for once compared to the racing and violence for once.
Speed Republic has held up as a solid mini-series with issues three and four pushing this comic into stellar territory. As with issue three, Speed Republic #4 collects more threads in the grand tapestry of the oppressed and what they’ll do to survive. As we speed toward the finish line, I’m left hoping that the final issue will bring about the rebellion and closure that these two siblings need in the ruined world that they live. Speed Republic is my favorite comic in Mad Cave Comic’s offerings this season. The creative team has done a superior job making this comic one to love, so that makes me pretty confident that the last issue will be one to remember and savor.
Speed Republic #4 is available where comics are sold.
Speed Republic #4
Speed Republic has held up as a solid mini-series with issues three and four pushing this comic into stellar territory. As with issue three, Speed Republic #4 collects more threads in the grand tapestry of the oppressed and what they’ll do to survive.