Paknadel & Trakhanov’s Turncoat #4 Review

Posted June 17, 2016 by Jess Camacho in Comic Books

Written by: Alex Paknadel

Art by: Artyom Trakhanov & Jason Wordie

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Paknadel and Trakhanov’s “Turncoat” has been a refreshing take on the idea of an alien invasion and this week, the miniseries comes to an end. After a couple of hundred years of aliens occupying Earth, they’ve left. This is thanks to Marta, a former cop for “Management” (the aliens) supplying humanity with important information. Why she did it? That’s one of the things explored in this miniseries. Along with this there are hybrid children who have gone missing. Marta has uncovered a massive conspiracy and with “Turncoat” #4, that comes to a head.

With “Turncoat” #4, Paknadel and Trakhanov put Marta’s back against the wall. She’s forced to realize that those she trust, aren’t exactly the right people to place that trust in. She also finds out exactly what’s happened to the hybrids and more importantly, we’re shown her full story and how she ended up being the most important person in the toppling of “Management”.

Like “Arcadia”, Paknadel plays with some very big ideas but he’s able to craft a deeply personal and character driven story. Despite taking place in a very vast world with lots left to explore, we’re not left feeling unfulfilled. Marta’s story comes to a complete close in this issue and while it’s tragic, it’s satisfying. Creating a four issue miniseries is not an easy feat given how much needs to be addressed in regards to world building and character development but Paknadel does a fantastic job at creating a full, complete arc for Marta. The way everything comes to an end was hinted at early on but it doesn’t feel like an anti-climatic reveal. Paknadel does a fantastic job giving his characters a proper ending that makes sense within each of their individual arcs. The balancing between the past and present continues here but again, Paknadel understands how to execute this in a way that doesn’t feel disorienting or force important story pieces out.

Trakhanov’s art is something that really grew on me as the series went on. He has a very distinct style that is very detailed and a bit trippy. It’s actually very perfect for a story like this. His world building is amazing with pieces of a recognizable Earth still visible in the wreckage of an alien invasion. Trakhanov is very adept at the action scenes in this issue as he creates some really dynamic fight scenes. I especially like the fighting styles being in line with what you’d expect from someone trained by the police and military. The character expressions are also very well done as nothing ever feels too big or not authentic. This is a very emotional story and Trakhanov is able to convey something pure and it engages you far more as a reader. Wordie’s colors go against convention of a story like this as he gives us something vibrant and lush. It brings an extra layer to Trakhanov’s art that gives it more structure.

“Turncoat” #4 marks the end of a very strong miniseries that deserved more attention. It wasn’t a run of the mill post apocalyptic, science fiction story. It’s influences are clear but it never felt like a shallow copy. What’s great is that this story ends but due to how much world building there was, it would be easy to revisit this Earth and hopefully we one day will.

About the Author

Jess Camacho

Jess Camacho is a comic critic who writes for We The Nerdy, Multiversity Comics and Geeked Out Nation. She also hosts Creator Owned Stories. She loves comics, pizza, wrestling and The X-Files. Not necessarily in that order. Follow her on Twitter @CamachoJess.