In Prisoners, Scott Larson takes one of the biggest, yet somewhat unknown, tragedies in Chicago's history and deftly weaves the events at the Iroquois Theater (I highly recommend the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast episode this for more information if readers are interested.) into the corrupt miscarriage of justice that threatens to bring Blackwood’s team down. Fortunately, it seems that his special skills remain in the city’s air and prevent the demise of the whole group. Colosimo and Bajardo may have eliminated one roadblock to their plans, but the Visitations are not defeated.
Slaughter at the Stockyards also examines a horrific event from Chicago's history but frames it as Obama, one of Chicago’s most famous contemporary residents, learning the full story from The Entertainer. Blending racism, homophobia, resurrection men, and murder creates a compelling tale of what it meant to be marginalized in late 19th/early 20th century Chicago. The Entertainer’s motives for returning become clear since he wants the world to truly change to somewhere he could be accepted in life.
My favorite note about the artwork in Visitations #7 was how Larson chose to utilize color in Slaughter at the Stockyards. The modern-day panels feature full-color palettes, infusing the pages with life, but The Entertainer’s flashbacks only use pale blue, white, and black which increases the impact of the conflicts as it progresses.
The previous volume of Visitations hinted at the Iroquois Theater fire’s ties to Blackwood, but seeing it on the page hit me hard. Both the fictional and historical tragedy hurt because I wanted something to be different for everyone involved. I had some knowledge of the events from Slaughter in the Stockyards due to the Crimenalia podcast’s season on body snatchers, but many details were new and shocking. Overall, this is a darker issue of Visitations, but there is hope. Our remaining denizens continue to fight to save the soul of Chicago, so it can flourish over time instead of fading away into obscurity.
*Special Note: I mistook a new character in Prisoners for the cast staple, The Entertainer. He may seem similar, but, at this point ,he's only watching what's happening, so it's unclear which side he might support!
4.5 False Medallions of Prophecy out of 5
Creative Team: Scott Larson (Story and Art), Len Strazewski (Framing Sequence Conception for Story 2)
Publisher: Visitations Comic
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