What is the perfect antidote to the past? To all the mistakes you made that continue to haunt your present and the lies that have begun to define you? Jeff Lemire doesn’t have that fix all cure, but Royal City’s finale does point readers in the right direction.
The Pike family saga has been brought to and end, one that takes the series back to its beginning – both literally and spiritually. Lemire brings a perfect close to the series by following up the penultimate issue with the aftermath of the various decisions the family members had made regarding their personal demons.
Every member of the family held onto a lie, whether it was to themselves or others. Every untruth, every deception was connected to Tommy and his death. But family is important and together the Pikes overcome hardship, or at least get on the right path to that goal. What get’s someone on that path is staying close to the people around them and acknowledging you can’t go back in time. There are no easy fixes because life is never that simple, but if you put in the work all kinds of possibilities open up.
Most of that development comes about through change. Both the characters in this series and the city itself were in stasis and deprived of any sense of growth. Royal City has been about a family moving on from the past, one that was holding them back from transforming into something better. In this last issue Lemire finishes each family member’s arc and that of the city itself, which provides a warm conclusion the longer story.
Every scene and the emotions they contain are drawn in Lemire’s signature style. Rough, much like the characters, it captures both their heartache and hope with simple lines. His panel-to-panel storytelling is cinematic and brings attention to the smaller details of the story that tie theme to action. This is most noticeable in the opening and closing pages of the finale.
Tommy’s ghost finally rests and Royal City is changed forever. A perfect end to great a and though-provoking series.
What did you think of the finale to Lemire’s ongoing series? Was it good or bad? Let us know in the comments.