The epic conclusion of the Dead End Kids comic series is to be released next week. This series has impacted me in ways that I never imagined. Dead End Kids #3, which is published by Source Point Press, is written by Frank Gogol, illustrated and colored by Nenad Cviticanin, and lettered by Sean Rinehart. The previous issue picks up immediately with Tank, Amanda, and Murphy spotting Blumer walking around in the frozen lake.
Desperate to find a way to prove that Blumer is the one that killed Ben, Murphy confronts him. The group takes him back to their cabin in the woods but quickly find their way in over their heads. The situation only worsens by the minute, leading to major consequences. Several flashbacks are included to give readers a better understanding of the characters.
Dead End Kids #3 opens with a flashforward 2019, where Murphy is attending a funeral service. Once the flashforwards ends, Murphy and Tank are walking through the neighborhood, clearly upset with one another over what happened to both Bulmer and Amanda in the previous issue. The group has a heartfelt conversation, reminding one another that they need to stick together and find who killed Ben. During their conversation, Murphy has a sudden realization and figures out who the killer is. They devise a plan to finally get justice for their best friend, but things don’t turn out as planned.
As with the previous two issues, the value of friendship and taking care of one another is such an important element in this comic. It’s clear that Murphy took things a bit too far in Dead End Kids #2, which resulted in Bulmer being shot in the head by a mysterious figure. He was so fixed on finding the killer that he inadvertently led to an innocent person dying. Tank is upset since it put him and Amanda in a dangerous situation. Their conversation served as a reminder that they’re more than just friends. Ben’s absence is surely noticeable, which is why that conversation was absolutely necessary.
I haven’t done this for any of the reviews I’ve written, but I want to give major praise to the cover artist of this issue, Criss Madd. The cover shows Murphy, Tank, and Amanda drowning in the frozen lake. Had I never picked up a single issue of this comic series, the cover alone would instantly make me want to read it. The fact that they’re drowning could, in fact, represent the sense of urgency to find out who killed Ben. They want to desperately find the person responsible but there’s something that’s holding them back from uncovering the truth. That specific something is revealed much later in the issue, which makes this cover even more powerful.
While the group discovers who the killer is, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a happy ending. In fact, the previous issues make sure that readers know that there may not be a happy ending. The simple fact is that their best friend is dead, and nothing they do will ever change that. It’s something that any person goes through whenever they lose someone important to them. This reflection on what happens after death adds an extra layer to the series which made me look back on my own personal experiences with losing loved ones.
This has easily become one of the best comic book series that I have read in 2019. The manner in which it deals with themes of death, loss of innocence, and friendship was incredibly well done. Gogol created a comic that I was able to dive in and walk out feeling amazed. Cviticanin’s artwork added this element of mystery that carried the story throughout these three issues. I can easily see this series being adapted into a different form of media, especially with the 90s nostalgia that was implemented throughout the three issues.
Dead End Kids #3 will be available for purchase on September 25th, 2019 wherever comic books are sold.
Dead End Kids #3
This has easily become one of the best comic book series that I have read in 2019