It’s been a while since the last issue of Toe Tag Riot, but Issue #4 is what we’ve been working toward from the beginning of the series: the ultimate showdown with the Westboro Baptist Church. You like gore? You like bigots getting their due? You’ve come to the right place.
This issue isn’t long on plot, but I can forgive that because it’s fun. Your favorite zombie punk band and mine arrive in Kansas, taunt the WBC founders, and proceed to have a concert on their lawn. And you can guess what happens from there: melee, zombie style. But there’s some fun stuff along the way, including, if I’m not mistaken, the acknowledgement of a Kickstarter backer at the concert and more appearances from Teddy Mercury (leaving me desperately wanting a Teddy Mercury of my own). There’s also some poetic justice for the WBC along the way, although I don’t want to spoil that for you. The final issue does a good job of providing some nice closure for the band, but also leaving the door open for more TTR in the future. It’s a fine line for a final issue to walk, and Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman balance it nicely.
The issue does leave a few things hanging that I hope they’ll address should they decide to go forward with the series, though. The band announces that they’ve decided to stay as zombies because “we’re happy being who we are and we’re not gonna feel bad about it.” This is great (for their career and for my entertainment value), but I didn’t get the a real sense of how or when that was decided. I’d like to know more about that. I’d also like to know the definitive fate of a certain person (again, trying not to spoil), but after some thought I think leaving that out was a deliberate choice to leave the door open for a second series.
As a series, Toe Tag Riot was an unexpectedly fun ride that let me vicariously release some pent-up rage at fundamentalist bigots. Issue #4 wasn’t as strong as some of the issues that preceded it, but I still enjoyed it, and I’d like to see where Miner and Von Gorman would take it from here.
Toe Tag Riot #4 gets 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts. The TTR series as a whole gets 4.5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
TOE TAG RIOT #4
Writer: Matt Miner
Pencils & Inks: Sean Von Gorman
Colorist: Savanna Ganucheau
Letters: Sean Von Gorman
Logo Design: Matt Miner
Cover: Tristan Jones and Doug Garbark
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: April 15, 2015