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Moriarty #6 is not only the worst issue so far in the “Lazarus Tree” story arc, but the weakest issue so far in the entire series. The story and characters are very involved and it is easy to get confused. Most of the information we are given is useless and just highlights writer Daniel Corey’s superior intellect. If only he could take that intellect and form an entertaining story, but Moriarty continues to under-whelm.
While under cover, Moriarty finds out more about the mysterious disappearance of his old friend and uncovers a mysterious link between a series of killings, a mass-murder in the jungle and a drug-trafficking ring.
Corey gives a lot of information in this issue that is not relevant to the story and just adds to how complex the already sophisticated plot is. The most blatant overuse of knowledge is a page full of information on teeth. Does this lead to any monumental discovery? Nothing that could not have saved us several panels of useless information that was a chore to get through. Unless you’re a dentist, Corey’s “teeth speech” is not going to do anything for you. During this conversation, we are also given a very blue-looking morgue room which gets boring to look at very quickly.
The Lazarus Tree is the most interesting and most important part of this story, but when Moriarty discovers a mass-murder site in the jungle, the story starts to pick up. The previously dragging pace picked up and carried the rest of the issue.
Moriarty’s interactions with Officer Blair are the most entertaining parts of the issue and the only reason readers will not fall asleep while reading the infamous “tooth” scene is because of Blair’s constant distrust and insults towards Moriarty. Their conflict with each other often leads to a humorous quip by Blair and I hope he will appear again before the end of the story arc – he is the only thing in this issue that is great enough just the way he is.
The artwork in Moriarty from Anthony Diecidue consists of way too many lines and not enough good artwork. The backgrounds still have that odd texture to them that is off-putting and distracting. The emotions are always nice to see clearly on character’s faces, but nothing else positive about the artwork is worth mentioning. Perry Freeze’s colors, for the most part, are fine and the contrast throughout the comic is great. The colors in the jungle, which consisted of a dirty green and orange sky, is a lovely combination. The serene blue coloring in the morgue contrasts nicely with the rest of the issue at first, but the scenes in the morgue last too long and the same scenery and blue tint quickly become boring during their constant repetition.
This one issue is not enough to ruin the rest of the arc. It’s unfortunate that Daniel Corey’s sixth issue has failed because he is trying so hard to fill every panel with so many words. Moriarty and Blair are still entertaining when they interact together and the story is still intriguing under all the extra, wordy sentences Corey crams into every page. It was because of these “wordy” sentences that the comic turned into such a laborious chore, and a chore without the aide of good artwork to help it along. The series is still great, but needs to go back to how it was in the fourth issue, if not better, to get back to where it should be.