Daytripper #4 - The jakob187 Review
Very seldom does a comic come around that breaks all the ideas and conventions you have for the way it can present itself. Even when the medium is breaking past the superhero tights and eye-laser villains, it's usually delving into some dark place with vampires or cybernetic post-apocalypses; gritty realism has taken something away from the art of telling great stories. Vertigo has always been a risk taker, and Daytripper is the finest example that they've probably ever presented. With issue #4, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba hit with their most emotionally-charged issue and set a very high bar for the continuation of this series.
As with previous issues, #4 follows a period in the life of Bras de Oliva Domingos where a significant event is occurring and he is trying to understand it all. Specifically, he is 41 years old and taking his wife to the hospital, as she will be giving birth to their first child. As they are leaving, a phone call comes in to inform Bras of some bad news, where he ends up unexpectedly meeting his mother at the hospital and being told that his father has passed away. The rest of the issue is complex, packed with emotion, and like any other issue of Daytripper, it keeps you wondering how Bras will be dying this time. Rest assured, it's heartbreaking and holds repercussions that you will be thinking about long after the issue ends.
The beauty of Daytripper is that while the main character dies at the end of every issue, all of the characters are reoccurring from previous issues, so there is a sentimental attachment to them all. Characters that were introduced in the previous issue always lead to the events of the next book revolving in some way around that person (Jorge from issue #1 leads into #2, and the Salvadorian girl from #2 leads into #3, etc). You'll always know what's going on and who is involved, yet the different ages that we see Bras at helps reiterate the great subtleties that we miss everyday in life. If Bras didn't die at the end of every issue, it would make the impact of the stories less meaningful and poignant.
Issue #4 particularly grasped me because of its juxtaposition to "a life leaving brings a life anew". There's something in the idea of a man never meeting their grandchild, as well as a man never meeting his own child. There's a double tragedy in this issue, and it really hits hard when the end comes around, especially because of the way that Bras dies. I can't deny that I shed tears at the end of this issue and it really made me think about things in my own life. That's the kind of impact you would hope that a book has, and Daytripper #4 absolutely fulfilled that.