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Napalm Lullaby #3 Review: Pulling Back the Curtain

Find out how the story unravels in the latest issue of Rick Remender and Bengal’s Napalm Lullaby from Image Comics.

Napalm Lullaby 3 Review Cover
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesMay 15, 2024, 9:30 AM

Napalm Lullaby #3

Review
Rating
8
Good
Napalm Lullaby 3 Full Cover

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: Bengal

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: May 15, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

With Sarah and Sam deep within the Citadel of Heaven, this latest issue of Napalm Lullaby hits readers with plenty of juicy world-building that paints the picture of an idyllic but tragic society.

I’ve been keeping up with a lot of Rick Remender’s comics as of late, and the lineup of titles he’s got going on right now might be his most diverse yet. From slow-burn fantasies like The Sacrificers to his upcoming skateboarding slice-of-life series called Grommets, you can never expect what kind of story will come from the acclaimed writer. Then there’s Napalm Lullaby, a post-apocalyptic thrill ride that oozes style and rebellious energy. As its infectious title implies, this series came in hot, introducing readers to a strange world governed by an ominous religion, and its storytelling hasn’t slowed down since. With the comic series hitting the midpoint in its first story arc, Napalm Lullaby continues its hot streak as one of Image Comics’s most promising new series. So, let’s get to my comic review of issue #3! 

Overview

After Sam, Sarah, and Xander infiltrate The Citadel of Heaven, they see first-hand the false truths fed to the people living there. But because Sam is a powerful empath, he’s painfully attuned to the hate and fear people are keeping bottled up inside. Even with Sam slowly losing his mind, the team tries to keep things together for the mission at hand. They must not forget that they came there to take down Glokor and his oppressive religion.

Napalm Lullaby 3 - Sam looks at the people around him in horrorImage: Image Comics

Review

If you’ve read some of Rick Remender’s other comics like Deadly Class and Tokyo Ghost, it’s easy to spot that punk rock is one of his core creative inspirations. With themes of anti-authority and non-conformity, plenty of his stories have a strong rebellious energy that makes them such compelling reads. Napalm Lullaby is no different and issue #3 is where the comic gives us a deep look into the society that Sarah and Sam boldly stand against. The idyllic scenes throughout Glokor’s Citadel of Heaven have people living “perfect” and “happy” lives. But all the grandeur is juxtaposed by Sarah’s angsty and sarcastic narration that breaks down what’s really happening behind the scenes. As if the stakes of their mission of killing a “god” weren’t high enough, this latest issue shows just how tragically warped their world has become. 

Because the characters are now steeped within enemy lines, it makes for an issue that’s packed with incredible world-building. Beyond what the comic shows on the surface, this issue feeds you the false narratives that permeate throughout the supposed perfect society. Seeing the lies that the villain uses to stay in power greatly contextualizes the comic’s story and the kind of enemies Sarah and Sam are up against in their fated mission. The final stinger of this issue also hits you with a powerful curveball that drastically shifts the story’s trajectory. Once I hit that last page, it left me excited to see what comes next more than ever.

Napalm Lullaby - Sarah looks at the hero with hatredImage: Image Comics

Finally, Bengal’s art is great in this issue in ways I didn’t expect. A highlight, of course, is seeing the Citadel of Heaven in all its gaudy and futuristic glory. It’s true to its name because the place looks like a paradise with its pristine scenery and finely dressed people. That makes the reality of what’s happening much more horrifying and tragic once the curtain is pulled back a bit. But, going back to the art, what stood out to me most in this issue were the raw and emotional details put into the character expressions. Whether it was Sam barely clinging to his sanity or Sarah gritting her teeth in hatred for Glokor, the emotional intensity was palpable throughout this comic’s major scenes. Even as a fan already of his work, I’m still always blown away by the incredible work Bengal puts into the art.

Napalm Lullaby - A hero fights off a monsterImage: Image Comics

Final Thoughts

Napalm Lullaby is an eye-catching post-apocalyptic comic book that’s unraveling more about its fascinating narrative. After three impactful issues, the series has put together the pieces for a story with surprises at every turn. With its blend of sci-fi and fantasy, it’s exactly the type of comic for readers who love immersing themselves in intriguing and violent worlds. Now that it seems like the action will start kicking up a notch, we’re set to see more of the slick-looking powers we got plenty of in issue #1. Don’t miss out on this rollercoaster of a comic book series from Image. 

Why You Should Read Napalm Lullaby

  • Bengal’s art is fantastic in this comic, from top to bottom.
  • This third issue gives us the biggest glimpse into the warped society Sarah and Sam are up against.
  • The closing stinger hits like a truck.
TAGGED: Image Comics
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