The Cull #5 is written by Kelly Thompson and published by Image Comics. Artwork and colours are by Mattia De Iulis and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The main cover art (left) is also by Mattia De Iulis.
The Cull #5 is available now, in print and on digital platforms where all good comic books are sold.
Our heroes grapple with their wins and their losses. Nothing will ever be the same again. But is it ever? There’s no place like home, that’s for sure.
I can’t believe this is. This is the end of The Cull (for now?). It feels like I’ve been waiting months since Cleo and her friends entered in to battle with a kaiju-sized monster on the beach where this story all began.
The final issue picks up right where we left off, with each of the teens reckoning with not only the monster before them but also with their new-found powers. The Cull #5 is a game of two-halves. In the first we get the epic showdown we’ve been waiting for which has been teased from the very beginning. Then in the second, Thompson slows things down to bring each of the character arcs to a satisfying conclusion. Albeit one which is punctuated with one hell of a cliffhanger.
There’s no hiding away from the fact I’ve given this entire series five-stars. From Thompson’s incredible characterisation for each of the teens, to Iulis’ frankly breathtaking artwork. The Cull has really impressed me and what’s so relieving is the fact this series utterly sticks the landing. There are still plenty of surprises left. In the first half the story takes builds on those War of the Worlds inspirations by adding just a dash of Power Rangers. It’s unexpected but incredible to watch play out on the page. I’m sure I touched on this analogy in a previous review, but Thompson has unlocked the same magic which made Buffy the Vampire Slayer the story of a generation. These kids are both literally and figuratively finding their inner strength in order to battle their monsters.
The Cull is crying out for a big screen adaption. Beyond the sheer scope of the project, its characters are so real and their emotions so raw. I’m glad that Thompson found time to give Cleo the chance to face up to her own insecurities whilst also stepping up to take some responsibility for what’s been happening across the series. It’s a defining moment for her and plays out exactly how I would have wanted it to.
I’m spoiling nothing here. The conclusion of issue #5 goes to unexpected places. The slow down in the pace to return to the story of Cleo’s brother is impeccable. It brings The Cull to a place where the story could come to an end. But it also blows the doors on the series’ concept. The possibilities are now infinite and it’s crying out for a second run if only to pick up on what happens next for our heroes.
Time to heap some more praise on Mattia De Iulis. I’ve said this every month but The Cull continues to look incredible right down to the final panel. The scale of the final battle is astonishing. It’s somehow equal parts photo realistic (just look at the cover above) and also awe-inspiring. Iulis effortlessly exposes the emotions on the faces of each character whilst never compromising on the scale which Thompson’s story boasts.
A thrilling conclusion to the blockbuster series. Equal parts satisfying and devastating as we end of a mind-bending cliffhanger. Thompson and Iulis have been a dynamite pairing and I hope to see them re-teamed for more storytelling in the future.