The third issue of Happy, published by Image comics, hits shelves December 19th, just in time for the Christmas. This winter set limited series, written by Grant Morrison and featuring the art of Darick Robertson, arrives at stores just before Christmas but this is the third installment of a four book series. In this issue we find our brooding hero riding a train out of town instead of helping save a young girl who has been kidnapped by what seems to be a very naughty Santa.
This issue of Happy lingers on one scene more than the previous issues. In the past Morrison moves the story along with ease, filling pages with compelling a mixture of background and main story. This issue, however, seems stalled on a single scene, taking entirely too much time to make its point. Morrison is trying to convey the main character Nick’s feelings toward Christmas, but he takes a bit too long to do so. Some scenes just feel like a stalemate between the imaginary horse, Happy, and Nick with a mildly annoying back and forth between the two that seems to go on for ages.
The dialog seems to jump around and muddles together on a few pages. The feeling of this issue is chaos. The dialogue may be jumpy at points, but the writing still remains top tier and up to the standard I would hold a writer of Morrison’s caliber. I stay interested with what comes next, and Morrison crafts a compelling story with many twists and turns along the way. This issue takes us further back into Nick’s past, showing us where his nature arose from and what happened to his wife.
This issue does not feel like much more than a back-story with a twist at the end. The story is not furthered that much with the only real development happening at the end. I will say that the wait is worth it through this issue to see the twist Morrison cooks up at the end. The series is somewhat changed, but I feel everything could have been sped along instead of pages of back and forth between our imaginary blue horse and grungy hit man.
I am still very skeptical about how the story is going to wrap up with only one issue left. There seems to be a lot of plot left to work with, and if the series does wrap up in just one issue, it must be one action packed issue with no stopping to catch your breath. The first two issues moved at an enjoyable pace but with the slow speed of the latest issue, it worries me that the last issue may have too much packed in to really bring this limited series to a conclusion.
Although this may be the weakest issue of Happy so far, it’s still fun and published just in time to get you in the holiday mood. I only wish the series would have wrapped up before Christmas as reading a holiday themed story in January will feel a bit off. Happy is still an enjoyable read and for those who have picked up this series from issue one. You will not feel any disappointment when Issue 3 comes to a close. Happy Issue 3 will arrive at your local comic book shop’s shelves on December 19th.