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Young Liars #5

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008
By: Joey Davidson

David Lapham
David Lapham, Lee Loughridge (c)
Vertigo / DC
How much is too much?

Thatís what I have to answer here with Young Liars #5. Exactly how deep through the muck can Lapham drag his own characters? How much mud can he slop on their faces? How much does he have to put us readers through before we give up?

I donít know yet. And I think thatís the best part.

Young Liars should probably come with a border that runs along the edge of the cover that reads something like, ďWarning! Warning! Warning!Ē Maybe then Iíd be ready for what goes down within the pages. I never am.

Here in the fifth, the gang is still on the run as they have made landfall in Spain. Danny spends the entire issue being proactively assholish (Donít know what I mean there? Read it, youíll see.), Ceecee relates, Donnie gets wasted and Runco and the boney chick get sinister. Whereís the girl with the bullet in her head? Danny thinks sheís off getting sexual with the entire Western world. Maybe she is, maybe she isnít, Iím not here to spoil a good time. Iím also not here to tell you that what Lapham does to Danny in this issue is downright unspeakable. Itís horrid, itís gruesome, itís terrifying and itís entertainment in one of its most basic and cruel forms. Youíll hate it so much you'll love it.

Thatís whatís been tough with this book every month. I donít get Young Liars and immediately think about all of the incredible, iconic and marvelous situations Iíll be thumbing through, no. Instead, I get a bit nervous for the characters Iíve come to know. Itís like being in a hospital waiting room, a bad one, one themed like an old James Bond flick, a '70s porno and something like Requiem for a Dream all wrapped into a nice and neat package. Itís scary that I like it so much.

The art would probably be my only legitimate complaint at this point. Lapham does his own pencils, so I give the guy credit for being multi-talented. But this issue feels so darn crowded. While it hits the fan, Iíd rather there be some moments of lonely singularity; there arenít. Thatís not to say that I suddenly donít like the art at all. I still enjoy the art, and it still has its real moments of beauty. But this issue was one of the first times I felt cramped in with the action.

Maybe Iím being sadistic for the characters on the page. Or maybe Iím relating to them way too much for my own good and have become addicted to a monthly masochistic fix. I donít know. I do know that Iíve enjoyed this fifth book in the same way that I enjoyed the ones before it. Iím almost positive that all you fans of the series out there will agree. Itís rough, tough and gritty, itís Young Liars. My only advice is to get used to it.



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