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Review – The Mall #5 (Scout Comics)

The Mall #5
Overall
8.6/10
8.6/10
  • Writing - 8.7/10
    8.7/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
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Summary

Writers: Don Handfield & James Haick III
Artist: Rafael Loureiro
Colorist: Daniel Rodrigues
Letterer: DC Hopkins
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: TBD

Organized crime may not be all its cracked up to be as the kids find out the price of the “high life”.

 

“All About the Benjamins” The Mall #5

The “Mallrats” are at it again in The Mall #5. Our young teenage protagonists have gone head-on into their new careers in organized crime. But now as they get deeper and deeper into the business they realize there may be no way out without compromising themselves, their morals, or their families. Now that Mr. Tessitorre has taken over, the kids are in more trouble than ever, but once you’re in “the life” and things are good it’s hard to get out. Lena’s home life is a wreck but her pet shop front drug business might get herself and her mom away from the abuse from her “father”. Diego is finally cool—he has the money, the ride, and the girl—but he has to remember not to get high on his own supply. Dallas finally has money, his single mother doesn’t have to struggle anymore, but he may find money is the root of all evil.

Plus, are all three of them related by the same father? Shocking revelations are ahead. It is the 1980s, it’s fast times and bright lights, but will the kids get caught up in all the glamour and not see what disasters await?

Writing

The Mall #5 (Scout Comics) cover A by Rafael Loureiro
The Mall #5 (Scout Comics) cover A by Rafael Loureiro

It has been a little bit since we checked in on The Mall. I have got reviews for issue #1 and issue #2 up. I am happy to say the writing and story continue to get better and better. The Mall #5 delivers some sound character development and progression from the start. It has brought these characters in new and interesting directions. Don Handfield and James Haick III have done a great job of giving every character their own unique “voice” throughout the story. Each individual story is interesting on its own and becomes better when the group comes back together.

They have developed this into a very interesting and unique organized crime story. I mentioned in my review of issue #1 that it felt like “The Breakfast Club meets Goodfellas or The Godfather mashed up with Pretty in Pink”. And that vibe continues throughout The Mall #5. You have interesting subplots with the kids in high school, their home lives and then having this organized crime drama as well. Each individual one has its own merits and the writing team does a great job of balancing them all out in this issue. 

It seems my major complaints of the dialogue feeling forced and the constant 1980s references have been fixed as well. The dialogue feels good and suitable for the characters. The writing team also does a great job of letting the art tell us what era we are in and not constantly putting in references throughout. 

Art

The art also seems to be better in The Mall #5. We still have the same art team, with Rafael Loureiro illustrating and Daniel Rodrigues on colors. It seems they have gotten more comfortable with everything as the series progresses. The characters and scenery are all very well detailed. Loureiro does some wonderful cartooning, catching some great facial expressions and character action throughout. Loureiro also seems to be playing more with panel layout and structure in The Mall #5. There are some really interesting and fun layouts throughout the issue that add a lot to the visual storytelling of the series.

The colors also continue to be wonderfully done. The bright coloration fits the ’80s theme and setting of the series and also brings a sense of levity to the dire situations the teenagers are in. It also fits well with Loureiro’s cartooning style. The art style is a little bit more on the animated spectrum and Rodrigues’s colors fit perfectly with that styling.

The art just fits the story superbly well. It has that nice medium of being “cartoony” yet realistic at the same time. It makes the book serious but you also get that high-school hijinks type vibe as well.

Conclusion

I am really impressed with The Mall #5 and the series as a whole. It has really progressed and become something superbly unique and interesting. The writing and the artwork fit fantastically well together. They deliver a story that combines teenage troubles with organized crime chaos in a 1980s setting. There is so much going on with each and every character. Not only is the main plot very interesting, but each subplot is, as well.

If you are looking for something that might combine your like of Stranger Things ’80s nostalgia, the high stakes of organized crime and the feeling of teen movie drama then you are looking for The Mall.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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