Title: Border Town (2018-) #3
Publisher: Vertigo / DC
Script: Eric M. Esquivel
Pencils: Ramon Villalobos
Inks: Ramon Villalobos
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Publication Date: November 7, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: The crazy old lady known only as La Curandera tells a tale that begins 500 years ago in the Aztec Empire at the peak of its strength and ends in her dirty little Arizona gift shop with four kids and a wayward Chupacabra, all of whom are meant to save the world from an ancient evil. Alas, it’s a school night. But our heroes defy their destinies at tremendous cost when a new and yet very familiar foe is revealed.
“There was a time when this land was unspoiled bu borders, fear, and hate…a time when beautiful, bronze exemplars of human perfection lived proudly…in massive golden cities…that were so scientifically, artistically, and spiritually advanced, racist historians would rather believe they were designed by extraterrestrial intelligences than the native population.”
Border Town #3 opens by taking readers back to Aztlan, 1516, and shedding light on the Land of the Dead, and its King and Queen, explaining that empires are always built on the foundation of child sacrifice. And, in doing so, turns up the politics and cements the message of this series and the voice of its creators.
There were several moments throughout my reading experience that made me feel as though I was being talked at as the series has shifted its focus, now that there are more eyes on the page, from mythological monsters to human monsters. Regardless of being a bit heavy handed at times, Border Town (2018-) #3 remains entertaining. Esquivel has packed a myriad of human emotions into this script, and he continues to provide a voice to characters that are easy to root for and identify with. I just fear that this series will become too weighed down by the politics that inspire this story; I’m already feeling the weight, but the story is good enough to support it.
Ramon Villalobos continues to create inspired illustrations that emphasize the intense emotional context that boils beneath the surface of this series. And, as the series progresses, and depth is added, and new characters and creatures are introduced, Villalobos is given more and more opportunity to shine.
The Bottom Line:
More heavy-handed than its predecessors but still fresh and character-driven, Border Town #3 makes its message clear while still managing to entertain and excite.