It’s all down to this: the driven-yet-demented hero Chuck Baxter versus mortality and his own superpowers! Can evil scientist Archibald McCrae achieve his life’s goal and kill the earth’s only unkillable man? And when Chuck’s past comes to haunt him, how will he respond? Either way, this is the end.
Well, I discovered this series by accident, and bought issue #1 and issue #2 on the same day, and read them back to back, and I loved them. But that now made having to wait for the 3rd and final issue even harder. Well, here it is, with the same creative team of writers Adam P. Knave and D,J. Kirkbride and artist Robert Love.
As per the previous issue, Archibald is dead, and now Chuck is completely powerless. So now he’s wandering around, not sure what to do. The issue is, once again, a lot of flashbacks, jumping from the 60’s, to the 50’s, the up to the 90’s and beyond, as we get more backstory of how the rivalry between Archibald and Chuck progressed, as well as a look into Chuck’s activities as a superhero working for the government. And then while Chuck is at a Diner feeling sorry for himself, some aliens attack the city. Previously, Chuck had fought off the aliens last time they attacked, but now with no super-powers, what can he do?
I won’t spoil the ending, other than to say that it isn’t really the end. The story of Chuck is left open to possibly continue. I suppose, in a play on words, that could expected since the title of the series is called NEVER Ending, but I kinda felt like this was a bit of a cop-out. I mean, the whole point of this series, from Chuck’s point of view, is that he just wanted to end it all. And so that’s what I was expecting to see, how he made that happen. Being a creator-owned book, the creators have the freedom to take a story like this to it’s logical conclusion. I know when I read something like Superman that he’s never go to die (or stay dead), because of corporate demands. So if you’re going to create an obvious Superman analog, then at least have the guts to follow through by giving us a story that they could never tell with Superman.
And also, the non-linear flashbacks annoyed me more in this issue. I feel that we learned enough of the characters’ history in the first two issues, so it felt like the flashbacks were just a way to pad the story to make this a complete issue. So I’m sorry to say, this series started story, but the finale was a let-down. Although, strictly speaking about the art, Robert Love does a fantastic job.
Chacebook rating: 3 Stars
If you want to see for yourself, all three issues are available on DARK HORSE DIGITAL