Top critical review
Very Dissatisfying Ending to Machiko Noguchi's Arc
on 8 January 2018
This comic concludes Machiko Noguchi's story. It also shows us what happened to Brian Ellis, the tech guy from "Frenzy/Berserker" and "War." I am going to say that I feel that this story doesn't really full delve into Machiko's feelings for Yautja and Yautja culture. Previously, in "War" she harbours a righteous amount of resentment towards the Yautjas she was teamed with. The xenophobia, lack of acknowledgment, the racism and the overall coldness were enough to leave a bad taste in Machiko's mouth. I think with Machiko's story it is that they wanted her to be "removed" from humanity enough to miss it. I don't think that's essentially a good argument seeing the Yautja have behaviours that humans have. Both negative and positive.
Here, Machiko is still strong, absolutely amazing in combat and resourceful as hell as always. The artwork is crisp, I like some of the designs, human designs are somewhat okay but Yautja and Xeno designs are great. Machiko in battle with muscles and sinews demonstrated is like a artform in itself. Very intense and captivating. Her boldness is also shown in how she is able to still understand the Yautja mindset and still have some respect for it. The Yautja have honour. She does know this.
Brian Ellis has been "aged up" a bit and his design has changed a bit too much. From being a guy with lithe frame and jet black fair he has a more pronounced jawline now and wider physique, I guess he does tone up with Machiko, and shaggy brown hair. Ellis doesn't really do much in this story aside worrying over Machiko. I don't know how Machiko and Brian Ellis are a couple. It was like because Ellis is the guy most "average guys" can relate to so let him date Machiko, out of the blue. I used to really like Ellis in the previous installments. Over here, I found him a bother. The romance was convoluted. Like yeah I get it. Ellis wore a Berserker suit — he has the stamina to probably keep up with Machiko and they are both socially awkward and repress their feelings. But aside that I didn't see any really connection. Frankly, I was thinking Ellis would be involved with Katherine Lara who kinda knew him better and understood him; his limitations and also how he can be.
I feel the ending was dissatisfying. I understand that people had no idea what to do with Machiko anymore. The comic is too pro-humanity in a way that feels oddly inhuman. I do not understand why the thing done to Machiko in the end had to be done. It was like a brutal effacement of her past, of her spirit and who she is. There was no need for her to be settled so comfy with the Yautjas but she shouldn't have been so comfy with humanity either. It's like the bond Dachande and Machiko had was nothing. I am not too impressed. Here we have a great female warrior who is being reduced to a soap opera queen. An adaptive dude like Ellis treated as an awkward love interest. No real interest given to the Yautjas. Like please do better next time authors.
The art is good though. I really feel that the inking was done brilliantly. The story could have been way better. Definitely, we need better storylines in the future.