Reading Deadenders is watching Brubaker’s development as a writer. At least one hopes he’s developing and learning from the mistakes.
For example, if you’re going to write an ongoing comic book, it’s not a good idea to imply a protagonist’s death (by flashing forward ten years into the future) because why should a reader stick with a book? To find out what happens? Who cares, given Brubaker never spends enough time establishing characters in Deadenders anyway….
And another flash forward lesson? Don’t imply one of your other protagonists, who’s been entirely sympathetic, will grow up to make someone as unhappy as the guy looks at the end of this issue.
Until the flash forward, however, it’s a great issue. Brubaker’s making a lot of daring narrative decisions and they pay off. Too bad he decided to capstone it with the lame finish.
Deadenders often should be great, but just misses.